Baseball Travels To Xavier For Penultimate A-10 Weekend

May 9, 2013

 Massachusetts (11-28, 4-14 A-10) at Xavier (24-23, 11-7 A-10)
Dates  Friday, May 10, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
 Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.
 Sunday, May 12, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Location  Hayden Field | Cincinnati, Ohio
Weather Forecast

 Friday: Scattered T-Storms, 69 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 60%
 Saturday: Sunny, 67 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 20%
 Sunday: Partly Cloudy, 60 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 10%

UMass Probables  Friday: RHP Andrew Grant (2-6, 5.34 ERA)
 Saturday: LHP Conor LeBlanc (1-5, 5.55 ERA)
 Saturday: LHP Jordan Pace (3-5, 4.25 ERA)
Xavier Probables

 Friday: LHP John Richard (7-3, 2.52 ERA)
 Saturday: RHP Scott Klever (4-4, 3.83 ERA)
 Sunday: RHP Tyler Koors (4-5, 3.86 ERA)

Live Video  Sunday
 Friday | Saturday | Sunday
Social Media

@UMassAthletics | @UMassBaseball | @XavierGameDay

 Game Notes

Scouting Xavier
- Xavier enters the weekend series with the Minutemen holding a 24-23 overall record, 11-7 in the Atlantic 10 with an 8-6 mark at home. The Musketeers took two-of-three games at Saint Joseph's last weekend before dropping a pair of midweek contests to Cincinnati, 5-3 and 10-2.
- As a team, Xavier is batting .288 to rank tied for second in the Atlantic 10. Mark Ellwel leads the way with a .352 clip (62-for-176) and has scored a team-high 31 runs. Vinny Nittoli (.263) has a squad-best 34 RBI on the season, aided by 12 doubles and four home runs.
- The Musketeers collectively hold a 4.06 earned run average over 414.1 innings with 160 walks to 260 strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .279. Alex Vice is the team's top reliever with a 2.13 ERA over 18 appearances, a total of 25.1 innings with 11 walks and 23 strikeouts.
- UMass is 12-14 all-time against Xavier but has not defeated the Musketeers since Mar. 29, 2008, dropping the last nine straight in the series. The teams last met in Amherst in 2011.

Who's Hot
- Junior Nik Campero is hitting a team-best .342 over the past 10 games and is nine for his last 23 (.391). He holds the squad's longest active hitting streak (six games) and has reached base in the past 10 straight.
- Redshirt sophomore Adam Picard is batting .333 (13-for-39) in UMass' last 10 games and has reached base in all 10 contests and has driven in a team-leading 12 runs during that span, while scoring eight. His on-base percentage over the past 10 games is a squad-leading .449. On the year, Picard leads UMass in RBI (31) and is tied for first in doubles (9) and home runs (4). Last Sunday against Fordham, Picard drove in five runs for a career high, the most by a Minuteman this season.
- Sophomore right-hander Andrew Grant is averaging 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings over his past two starts on the mound.

A Marathon Contest
- In its home finale against Fordham last Sunday, UMass played 15 innings with the Rams, the longest contest for the Minutemen since going 15 innings in a 5-4 win against Dayton on May 4, 2008. In the four hour, 46 minute affair, UMass and Fordham combined for 20 runs and 38 hits.

Grant Fans 13 Hawks
- Andrew Grant's 13 strikeout game against Saint Joseph's on 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 in the contest, 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 38 in 39 games and began the week 35th nationally in double plays per-game at 0.97, which leads the Atlantic 10.

Cusick Breaks Into Stolen Bases Career List, Nears Single Season Top-10
- Redshirt junior Ryan Cusick currently leads UMass in stolen bases this season as he is 24-for-27 on the year, accounting for 31.6% of the squad's stolen bases total. He surpassed his previous career high of 23 last weekend against Fordham and is now two away from cracking the program's top-10 for a single season.
- Cusick now has 55 stolen bases in his career (55-for-66) 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, two 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 .65 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 nine 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); Kellen Pagel (5/5 vs. Fordham)
- 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 surpassed last year's mark with stolen 76 bases (76 for 88) over 39 contests and began the week ranked 20th in all of Division I in stolen bases per-game at 1.95 and 35th in stolen bases overall.
- 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 nine sacrifice bunts this year and ranks tied for second on the program's career list with 30.

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 close out the 2013 campaign with a three-game set at Temple. The squads will play a doubleheader on Friday, May 17 beginning at noon. Game three of the series will follow on Saturday, May 18, also scheduled for a noon start.



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