BALTIMORE – Following two mid-week wins against in-state opponents, the UMBC baseball team returns to America East action by playing host to Hartford for a three-game series at Alumni Field. The Retrievers and Hawks will play a doubleheader set to begin at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday and finish the series with a single game on Sunday.
UMBC will honor its two seniors, catcher Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC) and outfielder Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) prior to the noon start on Sunday.
Junior right-hander Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md..Walter Johnson) gets the ball once again for the Retrievers in the series opener and will be opposed by Hartford's Kyle Gauthier. Gill (2-5, 4.83 ERA) took the loss last weekend against Stony Brook despite throwing his third consecutive complete-game. Gauthier went just 4.1 innings last weekend in the opener at Binghamton as the Bearcats won 3-2.
Senior Jason Allinder
Game two will pit right-handers Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) and Brian Hunter against one another. Gomez (1-4, 3.00 ERA) went 6.1 innings last weekend against Stony Brook and was no-decisioned as the Retrievers rallied for the 4-1 win. In the series earlier this year, Hunter went eight innings against UMBC, giving up just one earned run on three hits.
In the finale, Hartford will send Sean Newcomb to the hill while the Retrievers have not named a starter. Newcomb (4-4, 4.19 ERA) defeated UMBC on Apr. 7, allowing just one run on three hits over 7.1 innings of work.
Hartford (15-31, 11-13 AE) swept the three-game series between the clubs earlier this spring in Connecticut. After the two teams played a fairly routine 8-3 seven-inning game to start the set, the Hawks outlasted UMBC (14-27, 6-18 AE) for a 3-2 win in 16 innings, even though Gomez struck out 14 batters in 7.1 innings of relief. Hartford completed the sweep on Sunday with a 6-1 victory.
Senior Tom Gilchrist
The Retrievers defeated UMES at home on Wednesday before heading just off campus to defeat Coppin State 6-0 at Joe Cannon Stadium yesterday. Freshmen Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) and Cam Maxey (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) combined to blank the Eagles, for the Retrievers' third shutout of the season. UMBC is 8-11 at home overall this season and 4-8 in conference home contests.
Freshman Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) is currently riding a six-game hit streak to lift his season average to .301 (46-for-153). The rookie shortstop is hitting .500 (13-for-26) with two doubles, one triple, four runs batted during the stretch. Junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) has also picked up a hit in his last six games and has knocked in a team-best 15 runs this spring.
Sophomore Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury) earned the win on Wednesday against UMES, throwing six innings and allowing just two earned runs. The righty has posted a UMBC-best 2.63 ERA while junior Jon Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) has worked 43.1 innings to a 3.32 ERA. Junior Stephenson Chrzanowski (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora/Hagerstown CC) became the second Retriever to record a save this season, pitching three innings of relief on Wednesday.
Hartford earned a come-from-behind walk-off win against Northeastern on Tuesday courtesy of a Ryan Lukach single. With the score tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth, the sophomore singled to left-center to drive in the winning run and snap the Hawks' four-game skid. Hartford is 7-20 away from Fiondella Field this season with a 4-8 away mark in America East play.
Lukach leads the Hartford attack with a .295 average (43-for-146) with 23 runs scored and 22 knocked in. He has also hit three longs balls this spring and is tied for the team lead with Brady Sheetz with 12 doubles.
The Hawks' pitching staff ranks sixth in the America East with a 5.46 ERA, but reliever Jeremy Charleshas come out of the pen 15 times, recording five saves and registering a 2.57 ERA. Anthony Mannuccia has also been effective, making 14 relief appearances and throwing 35.2 innings for a 3.53 ERA.
- Hartford has won six of the last seven games played between the two clubs over the past two seasons to cut UMBC's lead in America East games to 19-18.
- The Retrievers and Hawks met twice prior to becoming league foes with UMBC sweeping a doubleheader at Alumni Field on Mar. 11, 2001.
- UMBC is 10-7 all-time against Hartford in home games. The two have not met in Baltimore since May 20-21, 2011 when the teams split a four-game series.
- Lachance and Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) have combined for 22 of the Retrievers' 35 steals this season.