BALTIMORE--The UMBC baseball team will kick-off the 2008 season this weekend as they host Army in a three-game series beginning with a 3:00 p.m. contest on Friday afternoon at The Baseball Factory Field at UMBC.
The Retrievers will look to open their season with a win for the first time since handing Georgetown a 19-9 loss in 2001 and for their first opening series win for the first time since 2006, when they won two out of three against William and Mary.
The meeting on Friday between the Retrievers and the Black Knights (0-4) will be the ninth since the teams began play in 2001. Army currently leads the all-time series, 6-2, with the last meeting dating back to 2006, when the Retrievers hosted the Black Knights from March 4-5 in a three-game series.
The Retrievers fell to the Black Knights, 10-4 on March 4 but then downed Army, 5-2, on March 5 in the first game of a doubleheader. Steve Russo led the Retrievers in the win, going 2-for-3 with one run batted in and one run scored. The Retrievers dropped the second game of the twinbill, 3-2.
The Black Knights are looking for their first win of the 2008 campaign after dropping four games at the USTA Baseball Classic in San Antonio last weekend. Army faced the likes of Louisiana-Lafayette, Oral Roberts, Texas-San Antonio, and Texas Tech and were outscored by their opponents, 35-6 over the course of the four games. The Black Knights staged a comeback against No. 18 Louisiana-Lafayette, adding their only run in the eight inning as they fell, 2-1. The Army pitching staff also saw its best performance against the Ragin' Cajuns, as starter Joey Henshaw gave up just five hits in 4.2 innings of work. Henshaw also batted .300 over three games as the designated hitter and picked up a Patriot League Weekly Honorable Mention award for his efforts.
The Retrievers return to The Baseball Factory Field at UMBC after finishing with a 13-40 overall record, and 8-20 record at home led by senior Will Delawter. Delawter led the team in batting average (.365), hits (62), RBI (38), and slugging percentage (.553) and also recorded the second-highest number of innings pitched (58.0). Most recently, Delawter was a PingBaseball.com Spotlight Player of the Week.
UMBC and Army will play three, nine-inning games over the course of the weekend, beginning with Friday's game at 3:00 p.m. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., while the series finale on Sunday is slated for 1:00 p.m.
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