May 5, 2014

Retrievers Finish Road Swing with Mid-Week Games at Towson and Georgetown

BALTIMORE – The UMBC baseball teams finishes up its five-game road swing this week, as well as away non-conference games for the 2014 campaign, as the team travels around the beltway to take on Towson on Tuesday afternoon, and then heads south to face Georgetown on Wednesday evening at Shirley Povich Field.  Game time on Tuesday against the Tigers is set for 3:30 p.m. while the Retrievers and Hoyas will meet at 7:00 p.m.

UMBC (13-24) was swept at Hartford this past weekend and has now dropped six games in a row after winning seven straight previously.  Sophomore Joe Vanderplas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax/Tennessee) pitched six strong innings, striking out a career-high six on Sunday, but the Hawks scored on a double steal in the bottom of the seventh for a 4-3 win.

Towson (20-22) was swept in its three-game CAA series at William and Mary, despite averaging 6.33 runs per game.  The Tigers made a late charge in the finale, scoring two runs in the top of the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate, but fell short, 9-7. 

Georgetown (17-26) won the first two games of its weekend series with Villanova at home over the weekend to stop a three-game losing streak, but dropped the finale, 13-2, to the Wildcats.  The Hoyas scratched out a 2-1 victory in the opener behind eight shutout innings from Matt Smith and then got seven innings of quality work from Matt Hollenback for a 6-4 win in the middle game.

Senior Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) will start the first game of the week at Towson.  Vlasic (3-1, 4.94 ERA) has tossed at least six innings of three of his last four starts and defeated George Washington in his last start, surrendering just two runs while striking out three.

On Wednesday, senior Stephen Chrzanowski (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora/Hagerstown CC) will throw for the Retrievers.  Chrzanowski (0-1, 4.72 ERA) has made three other starts this season, throwing a season-high 5.1 innings in UMBC's win over Coppin State on April 23.

Neither Towson nor Georgetown has named a starter for the respective games.

The Retriever offence has proven effective in non-conference play this season, starting with junior outfielder Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) who is hitting .343 in out-of-league games.  Barnes went 4-for-4 at George Washington on April 22 in an 8-2 UMBC victory, connecting for two RBI doubles, as well as his first homerun of the season.  Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) has also delivered against non-America East pitching, compiling a .340 batting average with eight RBI and eight runs scored in 14 games.

The bottom of the Towson batting order kept the Tigers in the game on Sunday with No. 6 and 7 batters, Brendan Butler and Hunter Bennett, combining to go 7-for-8 with three RBI and four runs scored.  Peter Bowles leads the Towson offense with a .298 average and 30 RBI while Kurt Wertz has smashed eight homers this season.

Nick Collins is hitting at a .357 clip for the Hoyas and has knocked in 36 runs this season.  Steve Anderson has also provided offense for Georgetown, ripping four round-trippers and driving in a team-best 40 RBI.

DAWG BITES

-          UMBC and Towson were scheduled to play at Alumni Field on April 29, and then May 1, but both games were cancelled due to rain.

-          The Tigers have won each of the last three meetings between the two clubs and leads the all-time series, 47-35-1.  The Retrievers won the first-ever matchup between the beltway rivals, 5-1, back in 1970, the fourth season in UMBC program history.

-          The Retrievers are 4-2 against in-state opponents this season (2-0 vs. Coppin State; 0-1 vs. Maryland; 1-0 vs. UMES; 1-1 vs. Navy).

-          UMBC and Georgetown split the season series last year, with each club winning on its home field.  After the Hoyas won 7-4 at home on March 13, the Retrievers returned the favor with a 6-5 win at Alumni Field to stop a five-game losing skid in the series.  UMBC leads the all-time series 28-16.