Baseball Readies For Retrievers At UMBC
Baseball Readies For Retrievers At UMBC
ALBANY, N.Y. – The University at Albany baseball team travels to Baltimore, Md. this weekend, taking on the UMBC Retrievers in a three-game America East Conference series. Saturdays’ doubleheader is set to begin at 3:30 p.m., followed by a single game on Sunday.
Sat. March 23
Kasceim Graham (Albany) 2-2, 3.92 ERA vs. Denis Mikush (UMBC) 0-0, 0.00 ERA
Sun., March 24, 12 p.m.
TBA vs. Riley Stephenson (UMBC) 0-2, 9.00 ERA
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (4-7, 2-1 America East)
UMBC comes off a 2-0 non-conference loss to Towson after capturing its first America East series of the season. The Retrievers overcame Binghamton in game one, 7-4, fell in game two, 17-11, but rallied to take the rubber match, 2-0. On the season, UMBC is batting .235, led by Rob McCabe (.361) and Jake Barnes (.348). Defensively, they own a .965 fielding percentage and a 5.38 ERA.
THE COACH: Bob Mumma (2nd season, UMBC, ‘94)
After a stellar collegiate career at UMBC and two seasons of professional baseball, Bob Mumma returned to his alma mater in the fall of 1996 and has served as the Retrievers’ assistant baseball coach for the past 15 seasons. This past season, Mumma’s first as the Retrievers’ head coach, UMBC posted a 10-42 record, recording wins over Army and Navy as well as a victory over perennially ranked Tulane in New Orleans. Mumma succeeded John Jancuska, who coached the Retrievers from 1978-2011.
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (4-9, 1-2 America East)
UAlbany comes off a 1-2 series loss to Hartford in the first weekend of America East Conference action. The Great Danes won game one, 9-6, but fell 3-1 and 15-5 in the final two contests. UAlbany’s midweek home-opener versus Marist was cancelled due to snow. Heading into this weekend, the Great Danes own a collective .231 batting average, led by Matt Hinchy (.412), Evan Harasta (.310), Adam Mund (.286), and Jeff Welsh (.286). Defensively, UAlbany is fielding .961, while the pitching staff owns a 6.63 ERA. The Great Dane hurlers rank first in the conference for strikeouts per game (9.44/game).
THE COACH: Jon Mueller (14th season, Eckerd College, ‘92)
Jon Mueller is in his 14th season as the head coach of the University at Albany baseball program. The Stillwater, N.Y. native has had proven success as both a player and coach throughout his career. Mueller ranks first among UAlbany’s career leaders with 283 coaching victories, and was named the America East Coach of the Year in 2004. He also led the Danes to the program’s first America East Conference tournament championship title and NCAA appearance in 2007. Mueller has produced dozens of all-conference standouts and has had six players selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft under his direction, including one in each of the past two seasons.
LAST WEEK’S TOP PERFORMERS
Position Player: Jeff Welsh led UAlbany to three wins this week with a .400 batting average, recording two doubles, two runs, and two RBI.
Pitcher: Kasceim Graham led the UAlbany pitching staff to a Division I program record, as they combined for 15 strikeouts in their win over NYIT. Graham captured his second win of the season, tossing five full frames, limiting NYIT to three hits and no runs, while striking out a career-high 10 batters. The 10 Ks (done in just five innings) marked the most strikeouts by a UAlbany pitcher since 2011. Graham also started against conference foe Hartford, tossing a solid seven and a third innings, allowing six hits and three runs (one earned), while striking out six. On the week, Graham totaled a 0.73 ERA and 16 strikeouts.
Rookie: Freshman Matt Hinchy accumulated a .385 batting average on the week with a team-best .538 slugging percentage, starting at third base in all three of the week’s victories. In UAlbany’s win over Hartford, Hinchy went 3-for-4 with a run scored and team-high three runs batted in. In the Danes’ first win over NYIT, Hinchy went 2-for-4 with a triple.
The combined 15 strikeouts by the UAlbany pitching staff at NYIT tied UAlbany’s Division I era record for K’s in a game. The last time the Great Danes totaled 15 strikeouts was on May 7, 2005 in a 13-inning contest at Hartford. UAlbany used five hurlers in the 11-9 extra-inning victory. Monday’s feat at NYIT marks a DI record for nine-inning games.
UAlbany has had seven games cancelled so far this spring due to inclement weather. Contests scheduled versus Toledo, Wright State and Delaware were all cancelled at the Ron Fraser Classic in Cary, N.C. due to snow. Hofstra was nixed because of rain, two of the four-game series at NYIT were cancelled because of poor weather, and UAlbany’s home-opener vs. Marist was postponed due to snow.
GOING, GOING, GONE
As a team, UAlbany has belted two home runs this season. Josh Nethaway recorded the first of the year in game one against South Carolina (2/23). Nethaway blasted a solo shot over the left field wall with two outs in the fourth off South Carolina starter Jordan Montgomery. The dinger marked the sixth of Nethaway’s career. Nolan Gaige is credited with the other, belting a two-run shot over the right field wall in game three at UNCG, giving UAlbany a 7-3 lead in the eighth. The home run marked the ninth in his career.
RACKING UP THE MILES
At this point in the season, UAlbany is in prime bus-riding shape after traveling over 10 hours south (one way) for three consecutive series. The Great Danes traveled 1,290 mile roundtrip to Cary, N.C. for the Ron Fraser Classic. UAlbany played two games against Canisius (2/15) before the remaining two days of the tournament were cancelled due to snow. The following weekend, the Great Danes totaled 1,734 miles to and from South Carolina to play a three-games series against the Gamecocks (2/23-24). UAlbany made one last trip below the Mason-Dixon Line to Greensboro, N.C. (1,370 miles), facing UNCG March 1-3. In the first three weekends of the 2013 season, UAlbany totaled nearly 4,400 miles of bus travel.
2013 AMERICA EAST TOURNAMENT
Announced by the league office March 6th, the America East Conference will take its 2013 baseball championship to LeLacheur Park in Lowell, Mass., home of Boston Red Sox Single A affiliate Lowell Spinners. The state of the art facility was tabbed to host the entire championship, marking the first time it has been held at a predetermined minor-league facility since 2001. The 2013 America East Championship will begin on Wednesday May 22, and conclude on either May 24 or May 25.
UAlbany will travel to Ithaca, N.Y. for a midweek non-conference clash with Cornell, Tuesday at 2:00 p.m.