Baseball Continues Home Stand against Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday

Shane Vlasic will start Sunday's series finalle
Shane Vlasic will start Sunday's series finalle

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BALTIMORE – In the middle of its longest home stand of the season, the UMBC baseball team (8-29, 1-10 America East) welcomes in-state rival Mount St. Mary's (12-32, 5-19 NEC) to the Baseball Factory Field, Wednesday evening with first pitch set for 6 p.m.

The two squads met earlier this season on Mar. 27 with the Retrievers using a three-run homerun from senior Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) to get past the Mount, 7-3, for the first time in over ten seasons in Emmitsburg, Md.  The win UMBC's second straight win in the series and fourth in the past six games.

The senior outfielder went 2-for-4 on the day with four RBIs and scored three runs.  Freshman Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) also picked up a multi-hit game also going 2-for-4 at the plate and scoring two runs.

Sophomore Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) threw seven innings giving up only two runs while scattering four hits to pick up his second win of the season. 

After the Mount had cut the UMBC lead to one, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth, Glassman led off the fifth with a walk and moved to second on a single to left by senior Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown).  Klukowicz, the next batter, made the inning count, hitting a long ball over the right-centerfield fence to widen the Retrievers lead to four, 5-1. 

The hosts cut into the lead again with a single run in the sixth, however, the Retrievers plated runs in the seventh and eighth to answer the rally and withstand the Mount's final run in the bottom of the ninth.

Vlasic (2-6, 6.79) will get the ball once again for the Retrievers on Wednesday.  The right-hander leads the team with 55.2 innings pitched this season while also recording a team-high 25 strikeouts. 

This past weekend against Albany, UMBC took one of the four games, to pick up its first America East win of the season.  The 5-4 win in ten innings on Friday evening was the first extra-inning win for the Retrievers since April 2010.  Trailing 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, junior catcher Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) hit a line drive that ricocheted off of first base and rolled into right field allowing senior Curtis Schickner (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) to tie the game from third and classmate Michael Pesci (Parsippany, N.J./DePaul Catholic) to score the winning run all the way from second.

Senior Matt Siggins (Marriottsville, Md./Chapelgate/Frederick CC) pitched 7.2 innings against the Great Danes, yielding just two earned runs on seven hits, but was no decisioned when he had to leave in the eighth with runners on base.

Lefty Josh Dick (Winchester,Va./James Wood) worked out of the jam, however, and ended up earning the win after completing the game for the Black and Gold.

The senior trio of Himmelstein, Klukowicz and Schickner continues to pace the Retriever offense this season.  Klukowicz leads the team with a .357 batting average (35-for-98) and 26 runs batted in while Schickner is not far behind (.330) after going 6-for-16 in the last five games with two doubles and six RBIs.  Himmelstein leads the Retrievers with seven homeruns this season; a total which matches UMBC's team total from the 2011 season. 

DAWG BITES

-           UMBC's win over Albany on Saturday snapped a season-long 15-game losing streak.

-          The Retrievers have claimed the last six contests with the Mount at the Baseball Factory Field dating back to the 2003 season.

-          UMBC is 6-5 against NEC opponents over the last four seasons including this season's win over Mount St. Mary's (3-2 vs. Mount St. Mary's; 3-0 vs. Long Island; 0-1 vs. Sacred Heart; 0-2 vs. Wagner).

-          The Retrievers have stolen 40 bases this season, their highest total since 2005 when they stole 42 bases. 

-          Himmelstein has hit .600 (9-for-15) in five career games against Mount St. Mary's and has picked up at least one hit in each game. 

-          Allinder and Glassman lead the team with three-game hitting streaks.

-          Klukowicz's homerun on Friday gives him four round trippers for the season matching his career-high set during his sophomore year in 2010.