Baseball Starts Second Half of Conference Schedule with Weekend Trip to Binghamton

Sophomore Jake Barnes
Sophomore Jake Barnes

BALTIMORE – The UMBC baseball team opens the second half of its 2013 America East schedule with a weekend trip to Binghamton to play a three-game series against the Bearcats in Upstate New York.  The Retrievers and Bearcats will play a doubleheader on Saturday with first pitch set for 12:00 p.m. and then hit the diamond for a single game on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. to close out the series.

Game one will feature a rematch of the series opener at Alumni Field earlier this year as junior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) will oppose BU right-hander Jake Lambert.  Both Gill (2-2, 5.12 ERA) and Lambert (3-1, 4.44 ERA) were no-decisioned in that game as UMBC rallied to tie the game at 4-4 in the sixth.  Gill has made three previous starts against Binghamton in his career, and has an 0-1 record with a 6.75 ERA.

In the second game of Saturday's twin bill, freshman Denis Mikush (Burke, Va./Robinson) gets the ball for the Retrievers against Bearcat righty Jack Rogalla.  Mikush (0-2, 6.28 ERA) made his first career start against the Bearcats back on Mar. 17, going three innings and facing the minimum nine batters.  Rogalla (3-2, 2.47 ERA), meanwhile, pitched game two of that series, lasting just 1.2 innings after giving up seven unearned runs on six hits, but took a no-decision.

On Sunday, Binghamton will run Jay Lynch to the mound while UMBC has not named a starter.  Lynch leads BU with a 2.44 ERA this season while posting a 3-3 record.  The senior was named the America East Pitcher of the Week on Monday after firing a complete-game two-hitter last weekend to beat Albany.

UMBC (9-18, 4-11 AE) took two of three from its league rival in the series earlier this spring in Baltimore to earn its first series win against Binghamton (17-13, 7-7 AE) since joining the conference in 2004.  The Retrievers took the opener 7-4 on Saturday evening and then earned a doubleheader split on Sunday, taking the series with a 2-0 shutout in the finale.  After Mikush exited following the third, junior Jon Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) limited the Bearcats to just four hits in four innings of work to complete the shutout.

The Retrievers snapped a seven-game losing streak on Wednesday with an 11-10 home win over George Mason.  UMBC jumped out to leads of 6-1 and 10-4, but could not hold off the Patriots who tied the score at 10-10 with two outs in the top of the ninth.  In the bottom half, however, sophomore Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) led off with a bloop single to right, stole second with two down, and then raced around to score on a walk-off single up the middle by senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC).

Barnes has been hot at the plate lately going 7-for-10 in his last two games, and now leads the club with a .308 average (24-for-78).  The sophomore has hit two homeruns this season while knocking in ten runs.  Junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Jospeh's Prep) went 5-for-6 in the in mid-week clash and leads the Retrievers with a .358 on-base percentage.

Newcomers Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale CC) and Kevin Lachance(Clifton, Va./Centreville) have boosted the lineup in their first season in Baltimore as Coluccio leads the team with 11 RBI and Lachance has a team-high 28 hits and eight stolen bases.

Binghamton lost to St. Bonaventure 4-2 on Wednesday, ending a four-game win streak that included a series win over Albany last weekend.  The Bearcats also defeated Marist on the road, 11-9, on Tuesday afternoon.

Sophomore outfielder Jake Thomas leads the conference with a .380 average (35-for-92) and paces BU's lineup with 26 RBI and 27 runs scored.  Classmate Zach Blanden has been dangerous as well, scoring 25 runs, swiping a team-high eight bags and driving in 15 runs.

Right-hander Anthony Grillini (2-0, 4.40 ERA) has anchored the Bearcat bullpen, making eight appearances out of the pen recording two saves.

DAWG BITES

-          Binghamton leads the all-time series with 35-8 and has won the last ten meetings in New York.

-          The Bearcats are 2-2 at home this season while the Retrievers are 4-8 on the road.

-          Sophomore Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep) is hitting .346 (9-for-26) in eight career games versus Binghamton.

-          On Wednesday, McCabe became the first Retriever since 2007 to record five hits in a single game.  Both Steve Bowen (vs. NJIT 3/30/07) and Mike Scheffel (vs. Buffalo 3/14/07) accomplished the feat that season.

-          UMBC outhit George Mason 19-12 on Wednesday to improve to 3-1 when picking up more base-hits than the opponent.

-          Both Coluccio and sophomore Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee) are currently on a four-game hit streak.