Minutemen Close Out 2011 At St. Bonaventure
The squad will play three games in Olean this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
May 18, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. -
The UMass baseball team will wrap up its 2011 schedule this week, playing a three-game conference series at St. Bonaventure on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All three contests between the Minutemen (16-27-1, 7-13-1 A-10) and the Bonnies (21-22, 11-10 A-10) are slated for noon starts at Fred Handler Park.
On The Mound
Game 1 (Thursday): RHP Glen Misho (5-3, 5.17 ERA) vs. RHP Jordan Crane (3-2, 3.17 ERA)
Game 2 (Friday): LHP Charlie Benson (2-4, 4.66 ERA) vs. RHP Cael Johnson (4-4, 4.06 ERA)
Game 3 (Saturday): RHP Ben Hart (3-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. TBA
Scouting St. Bonaventure
St. Bonaventure enters the final weekend of regular season play with a record of 21-22 overall, including an 11-10 mark in the Atlantic 10.
Overall, the Bonnies are batting .284 as a team with 18 home runs. Brad Steinbach has started all of the squad's 43 games and boasts a .343 batting average with 22 RBI and 33 runs scored, while stealing 18 bases in 25 attempts. Billy Urban follows with a .331 average and paces St. Bonaventure with 36 RBI and 13 doubles. He has 28 runs scored to his credit, as well.
On the mound, the Bonnies hold a collective 4.88 earned run average with 168 walks, 219 strikeouts and a .301 opponent batting average.
The team's No. 1 starter, Jordan Crane, holds a team-best 3.17 earned run average and is 3-2 in 13 appearances, seven starts, for a total of 54.0 innings and holds an opponent batting average of .246.
UMass leads the all-time series against the Bonnies, which began in 1993, 31-21, including a 13-9 mark on the road. The Minutemen took all three games from St. Bonaventure the last time the squads met in Amherst in 2009.
Gotta Have Hart
Junior Ben Hart has seen success in his new role as a starter in recent weeks, including his first career complete game, an 8-1 win over Quinnipiac on May 3.
Surpassing his season total of innings pitched (21.1) from 2010 in his five starts alone this year (36.0 IP), Hart is 3-1 as a starter in 2011 with a 2.75 ERA and an opponent batting average of .263. He is averaging just over seven innings per-start.
Overall, Hart is 3-2 on the year with a 4.50 ERA in 46.0 innings of work with 25 strikeouts.
A Little Help From My Friends
With 16 outfield assists to date, UMass is second in the Atlantic 10 behind Richmond and tied for 14th nationally.
Pacing the Minutemen with nine outfield assists is centerfielder Rich Graef. He is second in the conference and tied for ninth nationally. Sophomore Anthony Serino is tied for sixth in the Atlantic 10 with five outfield assists.
Junior Leif Sorenson posted a team-leading 3.94 ERA last year in 19 appearances, including one start. Sorenson worked 29.2 innings in 2010, the most among the returning Minutemen. He registered five saves on the season, tying him for fifth all-time on the UMass single season saves list.
Sorenson currently has six saves on the year, good for fourth all-time on the single season list. He tied the school record with his 10th of his career on Apr. 26 vs. Northeastern in the Beanpot consolation game. In his next appearance, he surpassed the career mark previously set by Mitchell Eilenberg (2006-09) and Scott Ratliff (2002-04) with his 11th in a 5-1 win over 25/26 Charlotte.
In a team-high 20 appearances on the season, Sorenson holds a 3.06 ERA over 35.1 innings and 27 strikeouts. As a reliever, his ERA stands at 2.35 in 30.2 innings of work with 25 strikeouts.
In Atlantic 10 play, Sorenson has allowed just four earned runs in 12 appearances, a total of 21.2 innings. He has given up a total of 16 hits in that span with 17 strikeouts, four walks and an opponent batting average of .203.
Sorenson's 1.66 ERA in conference play ranks third among all A-10 pitchers. Overall, he is tied for fourth in saves with six.
Gedman And Copa Among A-10's Most Dangerous Hitters
Through 44 games, senior Matt Gedman is currently leading the Atlantic 10 with a .389 batting average and was ranked 34th in the country in the latest NCAA statistics report.
Senior Peter Copa boasts a team-leading 25 walks, contributing to his A-10-leading .483 on base percentage.
Copa ranks second in the Atlantic 10 in slugging percentage at .641. Copa has 10 of the team's 23 home runs, along with one triple and 11 doubles.
Situationally, Gedman is hitting .395 (34-for-86) with runners on base and .415 (27-for-65) with two outs. Twelve of his 31 RBI have come with two outs.
With 22 multi-hit games and nine multi-RBI games, Gedman paces UMass in both categories. He posted a career high with five base knocks against Indiana and then once again went 5-for-6 at Hartford.
Copa leads the Minutemen in RBI (39) and Gedman is third with 31, behind with classmate Kyle Multner (33). Copa has scored a team-high 40 runs, while Gedman is second with 38.
Both Gedman and Copa have extremely high OPS numbers at 1.001 and 1.124 respectively.
Matt Gedman is looking to become the first UMass player since Justin Howard to win the Atlantic 10 batting title. Howard hit an A-10-best .394 in 1993.
Gedman enters the series with St.Bonaventure three hits shy of breaking into the single season hits list. He currently has 68 on the year.
Conference Pitching Kind To UMass Bats
The Minutemen currently are batting .292 in conference games, fourth in the A-10. UMass has scored 133 runs in 21 games and has 16 home runs. Four Minutemen are hitting .300 or better in A-10 play.
Individually, senior Peter Copa is first in runs scored (25), second in batting average (.403), tied for second in RBI (22) and tied for third in home runs (5).
Kyle Multner is first in doubles (9) and tied for fifth in RBI (20).
On Apr. 17 in Ambler, the Minutemen scored 25 runs on 24 hits to take down Temple, the most runs a UMass team has ever scored in an Atlantic 10 game.
The Minutemen surpassed the previous mark of 24 at Richmond on March 22, 2009.
All nine members of UMass' lineup tallied multiple hits in the contest against the Owls and each scored at least one run with eight driving in two or more.
Making The Most Of Opportunities
Despite tallying 99 less hits than its opponents, UMass has scored just 39 fewer runs. Contributing to the Minutemen's scoring production are 155 walks and 79 sacrifices (22 sac flies, 57 sac bunts).
Junior Tom Conley is 11th in the country with seven sacrifice flies and senior Eric Fredette ranks 23rd in the country with 14 sacrifice bunts. Fredette and Conley rank first and second in those respective categories on the singles season lists in the UMass record book. Fredette is tied for fourth on the career list with 24 sacrifices.
With the bases loaded, UMass is hitting .375 (15-for-40), compared to a .278 (15-for-54) clip by its opponents.
Leaving The Yard
UMass brought back two of its three home run leaders from last season in seniors Peter Copa and co-captain Kyle Multner who tied 2010 graduate Mike Gedman with a squad-best eight home runs last spring. Matt Gedman (6), Tom Conley (5) and Eric Fredette (4) also contributed to the Minutemen's total of 51 homers in 2010.
Multner is the active career leader with 24 round trippers. With his first home run of the season, coming on Mar. 19 vs. Northwestern, Multner broke into the program's top-10 all-time for career homers. He is now tied with Pete Gautreau (1995-98) for sixth and needs two to match Nick Gorneault (1998-2001) for fifth.
Copa hit UMass' first home run of 2011 on Mar. 5 at Sam Houston State and currently leads the squad with 10 on the season, good for third in the Atlantic 10. With his 10th long ball of the season on May 7, Copa became the first Minuteman since Jason Twomley in 2005 to post double digit home runs in a year. He is currently one shy of breaking into UMass top-10 single season list.
Copa hit long balls in three consecutive games, vs. Navy, Army and Indiana at the RussMatt Invitational. He now has 23 for his career with the Minutemen, tied for eighth in program history.
Gedman had his first career multi-homer game with two against George Washington in game one of the teams' doubleheader on Mar. 26. He is tied for third in conference play with five home runs in A-10 games.
After finishing 27-for-40 on stolen base attempts in 46 games in 2010, UMass has swiped 38 bags in 58 attempts through 44 games this season.
Peter Copa leads the squad with a 14-for-16 mark on the base paths in 42 games, a career high, and stole three against UMBC alone. Ryan Cusick led last year's squad with an 8-for-10 clip.
UMass had seven stolen bases in its 9-5 victory over UMBC, the highest total since the squad stole eight vs. Hartford on Mar. 26, 2008.
Gedman Collects Weekly Award
Senior infielder Matt Gedman was selected as the UMass Athlete of the Week, Mar. 21, after helping the Minutemen to a 3-3 week at the RussMatt Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla.
Over six games, Gedman batted .500, going 15-for-30, with four multi-hit games, eight RBI, five runs scored and three doubles.
In a one-run loss to Indiana, Gedman registered a career-high five hits, going 5-for-6 at the plate with three RBI. Against Northwestern, the second of three straight victories for the Minutemen, Gedman hit 4-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored. He capped off the week by going 2-for-4 in a 9-5 win over UMBC, scoring once and driving in a run.
Misho Honored By A-10
Junior right-hander Glen Misho was named co-Atlantic 10 pitcher of the week on Mar. 14, his first career honor and first for a member of the Minutemen this season.
To open up UMass' trip to the RussMatt Invitational, Misho tossed his first career complete game, pitching the Minutemen to a 2-1 victory over Toledo, the squad's first win of the year.
Misho scattered eight hits and allowed just one run while recording eight strikeouts to two walks. Out of his 111 pitches in the contest, 76 were thrown for strikes.
Leading The Way
Senior co-captain Eric Fredette is the team's top returning hitter after posting a .384 average at the plate last season on his way to Atlantic 10 Second Team honors.
Fredette racked up 71 hits in 2010, which tied for ninth all-time in program history for a single season. He finished his junior campaign with a team-best 22 multi-hit games.
In his first season at UMass after transferring from Vermont, the second baseman played and started 45 of the squad's 46 games and totaled 32 runs scored, 11 doubles, one triple, four home runs and 31 RBI. His team-best 19 walks helped him boast a .443 on-base percentage, while he led the squad with 10 sacrifices, as well.
Fredette registered a team-high 22 multi-hit games on the year in 2010 and hit safely in 40 of the 45 contests he appeared in, reaching base in all but one.
After losing two weekend starters from last season's rotation to graduation (Bryan Leigh and Jared Freni) and another to the professional ranks (Nick Serino), the Minutemen have assembled a brand new starting rotation in 2011.
Senior Charlie Benson was the most tenured member of the UMass pitching staff coming into 2011 with 61.2 career innings pitched.
Out of UMass' 11 hurlers, six are from the freshman and sophomore classes.
Three Minutemen made their first collegiate appearances at the Bearkat Invitational. Freshman Ryan Lubreski threw 1.2 shutout innings against Michigan and struck out two in his debut. Sophomore Dennis Torres gave up just one earned run in 4.0 innings on the hill and fanned four against Sam Houston State on Mar. 5. Freshman Aaron Plunkett made his first appearance on Mar. 20 against UMBC. He struck out a season-high four batters at Connecticut on Apr. 6 and made his first career start on Apr. 12 at Siena.
The Minutemen are a young bunch in 2011 as 13 of the 30 players on the roster are freshmen. Making up the rest of the squad are five sophomores, six juniors and six seniors.
Three newcomers have joined the Minutemen out of the same high school, Essex in Essex Junction, Vt. Dylan Begin, Adam Picard and Aaron Plunkett helped the Hornets win state titles in 2008 and 2010. Picard was named the Vermont Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior.
Ten Minutemen made their collegiate debuts at the Bearkat invitational on opening weekend of 2011.
On Friday, Mar. 4, vs. Michigan, sophomore Anthony Serino and freshmen Dylan Begin and Josh Messier tallied their first collegiate hits with Serino picking up his first career RBI, as well.
Freshman Nik Campero had his first hit against the Wolverines on Mar. 5, while Begin drove in a run in that contest, his first RBI.
Freshmen Kyle Adie and Adam Picard notched their first hits as Minutemen in back-to-back games against Sam Houston State on Mar. 5 and 6, respectively.
Begin hit his first career home run on Mar. 20 against UMBC, while Adie had his first career multi-hit game, going 3-for-4 against Northwestern on Mar. 18.
At George Washington, Messier began the series with his first career multi-RBI game and had his first career multi-hit game in the series finale, driving in three runs against the Colonials.
Serino ripped his first career home run in a pinch hit at bat of UMass' 6-3 victory over George Washington on Mar. 26.
On Mar. 29 at Holy Cross, freshman Alex Tuneski recorded his first collegiate hit and classmate Rob McLam appeared in his first career game.
McLam collected his first career RBI and run scored at Hartford on Mar. 31 and tallied his first collegiate hit against Albany on Apr. 2. Tuneski picked up his first RBI at Hartford, as well.
Senior Charlie Benson made his first career start in a 1-0 loss Harvard in the opening round of the Beanpot and struck out a career-high seven batters.
Junior Ben Hart threw his first career complete game against Quinnipiac on May 3, including eight shutout innings.
McLam recently posted his first career multi-hit game on May 14 vs. Fordham, going 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Matt Gedman posted the third-longest hitting streak of the season in the Atlantic 10, hitting safely in 18 straight games earlier this year, a career high.
Gedman's streak marked the longest by a UMass player in the last decade. Aaron Senez hit safely in 20 straight games in 2001. The program record is 31 games, set by Muchie Dagliere from March 6, 1998 to April 25, 1998.
Senior Kyle Multner had an eight-game hitting streak spanning from Mar. 18 to Apr. 2. He registered a career-long 14 game hitting streak as a freshman in 2008.
Senior Peter Copa ended 2010 with a six game hitting streak and hit safely in the first three contests to start 2011 to extend the streak to a then career-best nine games. He recently concluded an 11 game hitting streak, for a new career high.
Eric Fredette recorded the team's longest hitting streak of 2010 at 16 games. Fredette's season long hitting streak thus far was six games. He currently has the team's longest active streak at four games.
Sophomore Rich Graef recently concluded a nine-game hitting streak. Also with streaks of six-plus this season, sophomore Anthony Serino(seven games), freshman Dylan Begin (seven games) and junior Tom Conley (six games).
Franczek Returns To Alma Mater
Former Minuteman third baseman Ryan Franczek returned to his alma mater this offseason and is in his first year on the UMass coaching staff this spring.
Franczek, who played at UMass from 2005-08, was a .286 career hitter (155-for-579), totaling 34 doubles, seven triples 12 home runs, 73 RBI and 155 runs scored. He appeared in 164 career games, which ranks ninth all-time, starting 152. His career walks total (77) is presently tied for 10th all-time at UMass.
Franczek's best campaign with the Minutemen was in 2006 when he saw action in 42 games as a sophomore, hit .307, drove in 27 runs and scored 33. He was awarded The E. Joseph Thompson Memorial MVP Trophy that season. Franczek had four triples in 2006, tying him currently for ninth in the UMass record book for a single season and also ranks tied for seventh in a season with 10 hit by pitches that year.
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