Baseball Hosts First Series With George Mason As A-10 Foes

May 1, 2014

Massachusetts (10-26, 7-11 A-10) at George Mason (24-16, 11-5 A-10)
 Dates | Times Friday, May 2, 2014-Sunday, May 4, 2014 | 3 p.m./1 p.m./12 p.m.
 Location | Forecast

Amherst, Mass.
Friday: Partly Cloudy, 66 degrees, Chance of Rain: 10%
Saturday: PM Showers, 66 degrees, Chance of Rain: 30%
Sunday: Showers, 59 degrees, Chance of Rain: 50%

 Live Stats | Video

Friday: GameTracker | A-10 All Access
Saturday: GameTracker | A-10 All Access
Sunday: GameTracker | A-10 All Access

 Social Media @UMassAthletics   | @UMassBaseball  | @MasonBaseball  
 Probable Starters UMass: LHP Conor LeBlanc (2-3, 3.62 ERA), RHP Andrew Grant (2-1, 4.46 ERA), TBA
George Mason: RHP Anthoy Montefusco (6-2, 1.05 ERA), LHP Jared Gaynor (6-3, 1.42 ERA), RHP John Williams (3-1, 2.78 ERA)

Game Notes

Leading Off
- UMass posted its second straight victory this past Tuesday, defeating Connecticut, 5-4 at home on Earl Lorden Field. It marked the Minutemen’s first win over the Huskies since 2007 as the squad improved to 5-4 at Earl Lorden Field this season.
- During the mini two-game winning streak, UMass has posted 10 or more hits in both contests, hitting 23-for-69 (.333) over the past two games.
- Redshirt junior Adam Picard has reached base in seven consecutive contests, while classmate Kyle Adie holds an active five-game hitting streak.
- In conference play, Walsh leads the team in batting average (.340, 18-for-53) and earned run average (2.96 over 27.1 innings). Last weekend at Fordham he went 5-for-10 at the plate with a double and a triple.
- Adie is hitting a team-best .342 (13-for-38) at home this season with a squad-best 10 runs scored.
- Walsh boasts a 1.80 ERA over 20.0 innings thrown at Earl Lorden Field this season in five appearances with 13 strikeouts to just two walks and only one extra base hit allowed in that span (a double).
- Relievers Tommy McDonald, DJ Jauss and Mike Geannelis have allowed just one earned run over 15.1 innings of relief at home this season over seven combined appearances out of the bullpen, contributing to UMass’ team ERA of 3.14 at home this season.
- Four Minutemen who have played in at least nine of the past 10 games are hitting .300 or better during that stretch, including Nik Campero (.366), Picard (.324), Walsh (.323) and Nick Sanford (.308).

About The George Mason Patriots
- The Patriots enter the weekend series against UMass with an 11-5 record in the Atlantic 10, which puts them in a third--place tie with Virginia Commonwealth after taking two-of-three against Saint Louis last weekend.
- Offensively, George Mason is led by Brandon Gum, Luke Wilson, and Chris Cook, who all enter Friday’s matchup hitting above .300 and among the team leaders in hits and RBI. Senior Blaise Fernandez's offense has also been a difference maker, as the third baseman leads the conference with 17 doubles and is tied for second on the team with 46 hits on the year. Wilson also leads the A-10 with 19 stolen bases on 21 attempts on the season.
- George Mason's pitching staff enters the series with one of the best rotations in the conference, with redshirt senior Anthony Montefusco and senior Jared Gaynor ranked first and second with two lowest ERAs in the conference, with a 1.05 and 1.42 ERA respectively. Montefusco and Gaynor each have wins on the season, which is good for tied for third in the A-10. Montefusco also leads A-10 pitchers with the fewest runs and earned runs given up on the season. As a staff, the Patriots have the lowest team ERA (3.34) in the conference.   

UMass at the Plate 

- UMass' offensive efforts continue to be paced by freshman Mike Geannelis, who has posted a .319 batting average (23-for-72) in 23 games this spring. Nik Campero remains close behind Geannelis, boasting a .303 mark (40-for-132) and is one of four players who have started all 36 games.
- Senior Dylan Begin paces the Minutemen in RBI (21), with Campero close behind (19). In addition, Begin has logged two home runs and 10 doubles, the latter of which is a team-high as well. 
- The UMass bats are also highlighted in part by John Jennings. The sophomore and Newton, Mass. native posts a .394 slugging percentage in just 71 at bats this season. In that span, he has compiled a batting average of .282 with eight of his 20 hits being doubles.

On the Hill 
- Friday starter junior Conor LeBlanc has thrown a team-high 64.2 innings on the season over 10 starts and leads UMass with a 3.62 earned run average with 17 strikeouts and 17 walks with opponents hitting .280 against him. He has worked at least five innings in every start this season, going six-plus innings in seven of his 10 outings. 
Andrew Grant, also a junior, paces the Minutemen in strikeouts with 32 in 36.1 innings. Grant is facing close competition in this category from Brandon Walsh (31), Aaron Plunkett (30 strikeouts), and Ryan Moloney (29). 
- Senior DJ Jauss, LeBlanc and Mike Geannelis each have two of the squad's nine wins on the year. Jauss also has one save as he is 2-1 in 12 appearances--all coming out of the bullpen. Walsh has two of the squads four saves on the season.
- As a staff, UMass holds a 4.88 ERA over 312.0 innings, walking 122 and sending down 180 by way of the `K'. 

Offensive Outburst
- UMass earned its first win of the season on Mar. 8 with a 15-0 decision over North Carolina A&T. The game included home runs from Brandon Walsh and Kyle Adie, marking the first round trips that both players have made in their collegiate careers. 
- The Minutemen exploded for 19 hits and four home runs in their victory, setting the team's highest single-game totals in those categories since Mar. 26, 2011, when the team hit four home runs in a 6-3 win over George Washington.

Bats Back 
- The Minutemen return 25 members from the 2013 roster, including seven of its nine regular starters in the field, but will be without the services of All-Atlantic 10 DH Rob McLam who will redshirt the 2014 season. 
- The returnees who will see action this season accounted for 50% of the tam's runs scored, 65% of its RBI and 69% of its extra base hits in 2014, including eight of nine home runs. 
- Senior Nik Campero is the team's top returning hitter for average after hitting .305 (50-for-164) last season with 20 RBI. Redshirt junior Adam Picard posted a .300 average in 2013 (42-for-150) and led the Minutemen with 31 RBI, while matching senior Dylan Begin for the team lead in home runs (4) last spring.

Returning Arms 
- UMass returns 264.9 of its 398.1 innings from last season including five individuals who made at least one start on the mound in 2013. 
- Among those back for 2014 is senior DJ Jauss who posted a 4.04 ERA last year with 35 strikeouts in 49.0 innings.
- Right-handed pitcher Andrew Grant started all 12 games that he appeared in as a sophomore in 2013 and led the Minutemen in wins (3) and strikeouts (58). 
- The Minutemen welcome five freshman arms to the pitching staff: Mike GeannelisTommy McDonaldJohn MioneRyan Moloney and Ryan Venditti.

Nearing Another Mile-Stone 

- Head coach Mike Stone is in his 27th season at the helm for the Minutemen and his 32nd overall as a head coach.

- Stone is just three wins away from his 700th of his career. He is currently 697-694-5 (.501) overall with a 643-604-3 (.516) mark at UMass.

On Deck 
- The Minutemen will continue their eight-game homestand next weekend with a three-game series against VCU (May 9-11) before concluding their home schedule on May 13 against Siena.

The Last Meeting
George Mason3
March 16, 2009
Fairfax, Va.
George Mason Rallies Past UMass Baseball, 3-1
Junior Bryan Leigh posted a solid performance on the mound, but the offense provided just one run for support as the UMass baseball team dropped a 3-1 decision to George Mason on Monday afternoon at Spuhler Field. The Minutemen are now 3-7 on the year, while the Patriots registered their eighth consecutive victory to improve to 12-3.



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