Klukowicz Homers Twice to Lead UMBC to Season Sweep of Mount St. Mary’s

Brian Klukowicz was named to the All-Region Second Team
Brian Klukowicz was named to the All-Region Second Team

BALTIMORE – UMBC senior Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) went 4-for-4 with two homeruns and two doubles to lead the UMBC baseball team (9-29) past in-state rival Mount St. Mary's, 15-10, Wednesday evening at the Baseball Factory Field.  Klukowicz drove in six runs and scored four runs in the game against the Mount.

The senior was just one of five Retrievers with multi-hit games on Wednesday as sophomore Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) also picked up four hits, freshman Anthony Gatto(Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) recorded three and senior Curtis Schickner (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) and junior Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) each registered two hits.

Senior Matt Siggins (Marriottsville, Md./Chapelgate/Frederick CC) entered the game in relief and picked up the win for UMBC pitching four innings for the Retrievers.  The righty surrendered three runs on five hits but struck out four batters.

Scott Nickerson (1-6) took the loss for Mount St. Mary's after giving up ten runs on 15 hits in six innings of work.

After a quick inning and a half with only one base runner, Klukowicz walked to start the second and moved to third on a double by Gatto.  McCabe then stepped up and singled through the left side to bring in both runners.  Playing in the outfield, McCabe went 4-for-5 on the day with three RBIs and a run scored. 

The visitors tied the score right away though in the top of the fourth on a two-run homerun by Nick Walker.

UMBC went quietly in the third, stranding one runner on in the third and the Mount took advantage, taking the lead, 3-2, with a solo run in the fourth.

To start the bottom of the fourth, Klukowicz reached base to lead off the inning again, this time on a double down the right field line, and once again scored courtesy of McCabe on an RBI ground out to tie the game at four.  Gatto then stole third and came home as junior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) singled to right to give UMBC the lead, 5-4.  Freshman Vince Corbi(Medford, N.J./Shawnee) then drew a walk, but both he and Gilchrist were stranded on base.

In the top of the fifth, Mount St. Mary's got to UMBC starter Josh Dick (Winchester, Va./James Wood), scoring two runs to retake the lead by one, 6-5.

The seesaw battle continued in the bottom half of the inning as Klukowicz doubled to left center to tie the game driving in Allinder who had picked up a one-out single to left.  Two batters later McCabe singled and then Gilchrist walked, but they could not score as UMBC left the bases loaded.

Mount St. Mary's once again rallied in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs to build a 7-5 lead.

The hosts did not back down, however, as freshman Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) led off the inning with a single to left.  Two batters later Schickner singled through the right side and then with Allinder batting, Barnes and Schickner pulled off a successful double steal with the freshman coming home on the play to cut the lead to one, 7-6.  Klukowicz then stepped up and drilled his fifth homerun of the year to straight away center field to give the Retrievers the lead once again, 9-7.  UMBC was not done though as Corbi drove in Gatto with a single back up the box.

Mount St. Mary's got one back in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to 10-8, but UMBC matched its sixth inning total with five more runs in the seventh.  Freshman Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) started the inning by reaching on an error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Schickner.  He then took third and finally scored on two separate wild pitches.  After Allinder singled to center, Klukowicz deposited his second homerun of the day and sixth of the season over the right-centerfield fence to give UMBC a seven-run cushion, 15-8.

Mount St. Mary's rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth, but could not come all the way back giving UMBC the season series sweep.

The Retrievers return to the diamond on Saturday to close their nine-game home stand with a three-game weekend series against America East rival Stony Brook. 

DAWG BITES

-           UMBC has now won seven straight meetings against the Mount at the Baseball Factory field dating back to 2003.

-          UMBC is now 6-3 against in-state opponents this season.  Last season the Retrievers went 2-3 against team's from Maryland (3-0 vs. Coppin State; 2-0 vs. Mount St. Mary's; 1-2 vs. Navy; 0-1 vs. Towson).

-          The last time a Retriever hit multiple homeruns in a single game was May 2, 2010 when Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) hit two against Albany.

-          The Retrievers racked up a season-high 21 hits on Wednesday.  The team's previous high had been 17 against Maine on Apr. 6.  They have now recorded five or more hits in 30 consecutive games this season.

-          UMBC has now scored 15 or more runs three times this season.

-          Dick and Siggins combined to strike out six batters on Wednesday.  The Retriever pitching staff as registered at least one strikeout in 52 straight games.

-          The Retrievers stole three bases against Mount St. Mary's and now have 43 swipes on the season.  This is the most stolen bases in a season since UMBC entered the America East back in 2004.