BALTIMORE – Following Wednesday's rainout against local rival Towson, the UMBC baseball team heads out on the road for the final time this season as the Retrievers travel to Long Island to face conference foe Stony Brook for a three-game set this weekend. The Retrievers and Seawolves will play a doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m. on Saturday and then play a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Joe Nathan Field.
Senior Steve Miller (Newark, Del./Dickinson) (1-8, 5.96) heads to the mound for the Retrievers in game one looking for back-to-back wins after earning his first career victory against Hartford last weekend. The right-hander threw a seven-inning complete game giving up the only Hawks runs of the game in the bottom of the seventh while scattering six hits. In his only career start against Stony Brook earlier this year, Miller also threw a seven-inning complete game but was charged with the loss in the 5-0 defeat.
In game two on Saturday, freshman Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) (0-1, 8.51) will make his second career start for UMBC. The rookie right-hander's only other start came on Apr. 6 against Maine. Ladner has made a total of 12 appearances for the Retrievers this season, holding the opponent scoreless in five outings, including a one-inning appearance last weekend at Hartford.
The series finale on Sunday will see sophomore righty Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) (2-8, 6.49) get the ball for the Black and Gold. Vlasic pitched a complete game in his last start against Hartford, but took the loss after yielding the winning run in the bottom of the eighth. Currently he leads the squad in innings pitched (68.0) and is second, behind only Miller, with 28 strikeouts.
Senior Brian Klukowicz (Clifton, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) leads the Retrievers in average (.369), RBIs (42) and doubles (11) and is second on the team and in the conference with seven homeruns. Classmate Max Himmelstein (Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown) sits atop the rankings with eight round-trippers this season. Third baseman Curtis Schickner (East Windsor, N.J./Lawrenceville Prep) has also been productive at the plate, hitting .329 (46-for-140) and laying down a school-record 13 sacrifices this year.
Stony Brook has swept season series from UMBC each of the past two seasons and already swept the first series between the two schools this season, winning all three games at the Baseball Factory Field on Apr. 28-29. The Retrievers last win over the Seawolves came back in the series opener in 2009 when they won 7-4 in Baltimore. Since then, Stony Brook has won 18 in a row in the conference rivalry.
In game one this season, Stony Brook's Tyler Johnson outdueled Miller by throwing seven shutout innings and limiting UMBC to just four hits en route to leading the visitors to a 5-0 victory. Both teams brought their bats for game two, combining for 25 hits and 19 runs, but once again the Seawolves prevailed, 13-6.
Stony Brook picked up the sweep with a win on Sunday behind seven strong innings from Evan Stecko-Haley and a 5-for-6 day at the plate by Willie Carmona which included four RBIs and four runs scored.
Seawolves' centerfielder Travis Jankowski went 8-for-13 in the three-game series, hitting two homeruns and two triples in addition to driving in seven runs and scoring seven runs.
- UMBC won the first America East series with Stony Brook, taking 2-of-3 in New York in 2004.
- Freshman Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) is hitting .339 (21-for-62) in conference play this year with two doubles, seven RBIs and 11 runs scored.
- Miller has thrown three complete games in five starts against America East opponents this season.
- UMBC is 2-12 against teams from New York in 2012 (1-3 vs. Albany; 1-2 vs. Army; 0-3 vs. Binghamton; 0-1 vs. Buffalo; 0-3 vs. Stony Brook).
- 10 of the Retrievers 21 homeruns this season have come on the road.
- Himmelstein leads all active Retrievers with 172 games played which ranks tied for 11th most in school history.