Fordham Series Final Home Weekend For Baseball

May 2, 2013

 Massachusetts (11-25, 4-11 A-10) vs. Fordham (16-30, 2-13 A-10)
Dates  Friday, May 3, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
 Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
 Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Location  Earl Lorden Field | Amherst, Mass.
Weather Forecast

 Friday: Sunny, 69 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 0%
 Saturday: Sunny, 73 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 0%
 Sunday: Sunny, 73 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 0%

UMass Probables  Friday: RHP Andrew Grant (2-5, 5.19 ERA)
 Saturday: LHP Conor LeBlanc (1-4, 6.10 ERA)
 Saturday: LHP Jordan Pace (3-5, 4.18 ERA)
Fordham Probables

 Friday: RHP Joseph Charest (1-8, 6.14 ERA)
 Saturday: RHP Chris Pike (2-6, 5.63 ERA)
 Sunday: RHP Jimmy Murphy (0-3, 4.60 ERA)

Live Video  Friday | Saturday | Sunday
 Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Social Media

@UMassAthletics | @UMassBaseball

 Game Notes

Scouting Fordham
-The Fordham Rams stand at 16-30 on the season with a 1-17 record on the road. In Atlantic 10 conference play, Fordham is 2-13 on the season.
- Fordham comes into this weekend at UMass with a .248 team batting average. The squad has hit six home runs and has 189 runs scored. Mike Mauri has started every game for the Rams this season, leading the team in on-base percentage at .405.
- The Rams have a team earned run average of 4.81 on the season with 290 strikeouts and 413 hits allowed over 387 innings pitched. Rich Anastasi has been solid out of the bullpen for Fordham, holding a 3.64 ERA in 17 appearances.
- UMass and Fordham have faced each other 48 times in the past, with the Minutemen leading the all-time series 27-20-1. Last year, the UMass won two of the three games it played against the Rams in the Bronx, the first was head coach Mike Stone’s 600th UMass win.

Grant Fans 13 Hawks
- Andrew Grant's 13 strikeout game against Saint Joseph's last Friday, Apr. 26, not only marked a career high for the sophomore right-hander but was also the most by a Minuteman since the 2010 season. Nick Serino was the last UMass hurler to put up 13 Ks, doing so against George Washington on Apr. 30, 2010.
- As a team, the Minutemen struck out 17 Hawks' batters last Friday, the most by a UMass squad in a single game since Apr. 17, 2005, also against Saint Joseph's.

Turning Two

- The UMass defense has been extremely successful at turning double plays this season as the squad has 37 in 36 games and began the week 23rd nationally in double plays per-game at 1.0, which leads the Atlantic 10.

Cusick Breaks Into Stolen Bases Career List
- Redshirt junior Ryan Cusick currently leads UMass in stolen bases this season as he is 22-for-25 on the year, accounting for 31.4% of the squad's stolen bases total. He is one shy of matching his career best for a single season.
- Cusick now has 53 stolen bases in his career (53-for-64) and has become the first Minuteman to break into the program's career stolen bases list since 2002, currently sitting sixth on the all-time list, four shy of fifth. He stole his 50th career base on Apr. 23 at Connecticut.
- In 2012, Cusick finished tied for third in the Atlantic 10 with 23 stolen bases in 39 games played. He ranked 15th in the nation in stolen bases per-game (0.59). Cusick is currently averaging .60 stolen bases per-game this year and is second in the Atlantic 10 in stolen bases, beginning the week 15th nationally in stolen bases per-game.

Going The Distance

- Senior Jordan Pace tossed UMass' first complete game of the season on Mar. 24, going all nine innings in a 1-0 setback to George Washington. Pace also went the distance on Apr. 7 in a 3-1 loss at Rhode Island, marking his fifth career complete game as he had three in 2011 at Presbyterian. The southpaw has gone six innings or more in all but one of his eight starts this year.
- Andrew Grant has the Minutemen's third complete game on the year, a 2-0 shutout over Rhode Island on Apr. 6.

Career Firsts
- First career games: John Jennings (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Zach Littman (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio); Kellen Pagel (3/9 at Lamar); Ben Panunzio (3/17 vs. Manhattan)

- First career hits: Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio); John Jennings (3/15 at Seton Hall); Kellen Pagel (3/17 vs. Manhattan); Ben Panunzio (3/30 vs. NJIT); Bryan Dionicio (4/10 vs. Boston College)

- First career doubles: Paul Yanakopulos (3/2 vs. Tennessee); Jeff Cavanaro (3/3 vs. Ohio); Vinny Scifo (3/29 vs. NJIT); Kellen Pagel (4/10 vs. Boston College)
; John Jennings (5/1 at Quinnipiac)
- First career triples: Brandon Walsh (3/1 vs. Notre Dame); Ben Panunzio (3/30 vs. NJIT); Adam Picard (4/10 vs. Boston College)
; John Jennings (4/20 at La Salle); Dylan Begin (4/16 vs. Central Conneticut); Rich Graef (5/1 at Quinnipiac)
- First career home run: Bryan Dionicio (5/1 at Quinnipiac)
- First career RBI: Vinny Scifo (3/3 vs. Ohio); John Jennings (3/29 vs. NJIT); Bryan Dionicio (4/10 vs. Boston College); Kellen Pagel (4/17 vs. Hartford).
- First career pitching appearance: Pat Lia (3/9 at Lamar); Evan Mackintosh (3/9 at Lamar); Adam Picard (3/9 at Lamar); Mason Trubey (3/9 at Lamar)

- First career win: Evan Mackintosh (4/10 vs. Boston College); Dan Stoops (4/16 vs. Central Connecticut)

Cusick's Five Hit Game
- In the Minutemen's win against Ohio, redshirt-junior Ryan Cusick went 5-for-5 for a career high. It marked the first five-hit game since 2011 when Matt Gedman went 5-for-6 at Hartford on Mar. 31. 

Small Ball At Its Finest
- UMass finished the 2012 season eighth nationally as a team in sacrifices with 79 and 23rd nationally in stolen bases per game with 70 over 44 contests, an average of 1.59 per game. The 70 steals marked the team's highest total since 2004 when UMass swiped 74 bags. The last time the Minutemen stole 80 or more bases was 2001 (86).
- In 2013 the Minutemen have stolen 70 bases (70 for 80) over 36 contests and began the week ranked 23rd in all of Division I in stolen bases per-game at 1.88.

- Rich Graef (4th, 12), Rob McLam (t-5th, 11) and Nick Sanford (t-5th, 11) all set top-10 single season marks in the UMass record book for sacrifice bunts in 2012. Graef has a team-high eight sacrifice bunts this year and ranks third on the program's career list with 29.

Young Arms 

- The UMass pitching staff is young one in 2013 after the departure of four senior arms in 2012, including Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year Joe Popielarczyk, along with Dennis Torres, who turned pro following his junior season. 

- The only returning Minutemen who made multiple starts in 2012 are sophomores Conor LeBlanc and Andrew Grant. LeBlanc was 4-1 with a 3.37 ERA over 34.2 innings in 12 appearances, five starts last season and earned Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team honors. Grant finished with a mark of 1-1 over eight appearances and three starts, a total of 22.1 innings and posted a 5.24 ERA. Over Grant's last five appearances of his freshman season, his final 16.0 innings of work in 2012, he posted a 1.12 ERA with an opponent batting average of .185.

- The 2013 UMass staff includes freshmen righthanders Rob O'Neil, Mason Trubey and Brandon Walsh and lefthander Evan Mackintosh. Sophomore Pat Lia did not see action last season and Dan Stoops made one appearance before being sidelined for the remainder of the year with an injury.

Up Next
- UMass will travel to Xavier for a three-game Atlantic 10 series that opens on Friday, May 10, at 3:00 p.m.



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