Baseball Closes Out Season At Temple

May 16, 2013

 Massachusetts (11-31, 4-17 A-10) at Temple (18-25, 7-14 A-10)
Dates  Friday, May 17, 2013 at 12:00 p.m. (Doubleheader)
 Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 12:00 p.m.
Location  Skip Wilson Field | Ambler, Pa.
Weather Forecast

 Friday: Sunny, 76 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 0%
 Saturday: Mostly Cloudy, 71 Degrees | Chance of Rain: 20%

UMass Probables  Friday (GM 1): LHP Conor LeBlanc (1-6, 5.60 ERA)
 Friday (GM 2): RHP Andrew Grant (2-7, 6.71 ERA)
 Saturday: LHP Aaron Plunkett (0-6, 3.98 ERA)
Temple Probables

 Friday (GM 1) : LHP Patrick Peterson (2-6, 4.62 ERA)
 Friday (GM 2): RHP Eric Peterson (6-2, 2.58 ERA)
 Saturday: LHP Dan Moller (1-5, 7.04 ERA)

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Live Video  Friday
Live Stats
 Friday (GM 1) | Friday (GM 2) | Saturday
Social Media

@UMassAthletics | @UMassBaseball

 Game Notes

Scouting Temple
-Temple comes into the weekend series against UMass with a record of 18-25 overall and a 7-14 mark in the Atlantic 10. The Owls have been idle since May 5, coming off a 2-1 series loss at Richmond. At home thus far this season, Temple is 9-7.
- As a team, the Owls are hitting .264 over 43 contests, paced by Henry Knabe's .354 (57-for-161) average. Knabe is the squad's RBI leader, as well, with 31. Derek Peterson is the only other member of the Temple lineup hitting .300 or higher as he sits at .316 for the year (56-for-177). Ten players have combined for the Owls' 12 home runs this season.
- Temple's pitching staff collectively holds an earned run average of 4.26 over 374.1 innings with 143 walks to 287 strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .251. Ryan Kuehn is the team's top reliever with a 2.21 ERA over 16 appearances, 20.1 innings, with five saves.
- UMass is 46-41-1 against Temple since the teams first met in 1978, 21-18-1 on the road. The Owls took two of three from the Minutemen in Amherst last season with two of the three contests going 12+ innings. UMass won the series finale in 12, 5-4.

A Marathon Contest
- In its home finale against Fordham on May 5, 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 42 in 42 games and ranks 21st nationally in double plays per-game at 1.00, 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 26-for-29 on the year, accounting for 33.3% of the squad's stolen bases total. He surpassed his previous career high of 23 on May 5 against Fordham and entered the program's top-10 for a single season last weekend at Xavier, currently tied for ninth and one shy of eighth.
- Cusick now has 57 stolen bases in his career (57-for-68) and has become the first Minuteman to break into the program's career stolen bases list since 2002, currently sitting fifth on the all-time list, 13 shy of fourth. 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, 10th 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.
- Junior Aaron Plunkett went the distance in his debut as a weekend starter at Xavier on May 12 and scattered four hits, while giving up just one unearned run, but took a loss.

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 78 bases (78 for 92) over 42 contests and are currently ranked 24th in all of Division I in stolen bases per-game at 1.86 and 45th 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. 



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