Gill Named America East Pitcher of the Week, Lachance Top Rookie; Baseball Closes out 2013 Home Schedule on Tuesday against Georgetown

CAMBRIDGE, Mass – Junior Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) was named the America East Pitcher of the Week and freshman shortstop Kevin Lachance (Clifton, Va./Centreville) earned the Rookie of the Week award, the conference office announced on Monday morning.

The awards mark the third citation for the Retriever club this year as junior Brandon Coluccio (Freehold, N.J./Freehold Township/Brookdale) was named the conference Player of the Week back on Mar. 18.

Gill earns his first conference honor after shutting down Hartford as UMBC won the series opener, 3-1, on Saturday.  The junior right-hander went the distance in the game, his fourth straight complete-game effort, limiting the Hawks to just one unearned run on four hits.  Gill struck out three batters in the game and did not issue a single free pass. 

 

Junior Mac Gill

For the season, Gill has thrown a staff-best 66.2 innings for a 4.32 ERA.  He has fanned 22 batters this season while handing out just 18 walks as the series-opening starter.

Lachance takes the top rookie honor after hitting .474 (9-for-19) for the week, which included a 4-for-5 effort against Coppin State on Thursday.  The freshman shortstop collected two hits against both UMES and Hartford to run his hit streak to seven games, with both hits against Eastern Shore going for doubles.  Despite having his run stopped in Saturday's second game, Lachance drew two walks as the Retrievers earned the doubleheader sweep.

Over the course of 43 games played this season, Lachance leads the club with a .302 average and 49 hits.  He is also tied for the team-lead with 11 two-baggers and has swiped 13 bags to move into a tie for fourth in UMBC's single-season record book.

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The UMBC baseball team finishes out its 2013 home schedule at Alumni Field on Tuesday evening against Georgetown.  First pitch between the Retrievers and Hoyas is set for 6:00 p.m.

Freshman Kevin Lachance

Fresh off working a career-high seven innings last week against Coppin State, Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) gets the ball again for the Retrievers on Tuesday.  The rookie right-hander (2-7, 6.15 ERA) held the Eagles scoreless and allowed just four hits before turning it over to classmate Cam Maxey (Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee) to close it out.  Georgetown has not named a starter ahead its season-ending series with Villanova which starts on Thursday.

UMBC (16-28) and Georgetown (25-24) met earlier this year at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda, Md. with the Hoyas taking a 7-4 decision.  The Mar. 13 contest saw GU jump out to a 5-0 lead after two innings before the Retrievers rallied to cut the lead to one with a four-run sixth inning.  UMBC could not get any closer, however, as the Hoyas added single runs in the bottom of the sixth and eighth innings to close out the victory.

The Retrievers still lead the all-time series between the two schools, 27-16, but have not defeated the Hoyas since 2011 when they picked up a 4-3 home win.  With the win earlier in the season, Georgetown has won five straight meetings which included four games last year, two of which came at the season-opening Wake Forest Invitational.

UMBC enters the final week of the season winners of five of its last seven games, going 4-1 last week.  The Retrievers took out in-state foes UMES and Coppin State on consecutive days before sweeping a doubleheader with Hartford on Saturday.  The Retrievers are 10-12 at home this season with a 4-3 mark against non-conference opponents at Alumni Field.

Lachance's .302 average and 49 hits pace the Retriever offense.  The rookie, along with sophomoreAnthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) have combined to steal 24 of the team's 40 bases this season.

As a pitching staff, UMBC has lowered its ERA (4.69) by over four runs from last year (9.01) and ranks fourth in the America East.  Junior Jon Cohn (Scottsdale, Ariz./Notre Dame Prep) started his second game of the year on Sunday against Hartford, but has been UMBC's top reliever this season, making 16 appearances out of the pen.  Overall, the right-hander has posted a 3-4 record and 3.04 ERA in 50.1 innings this season.  Sophomore Kevin Ladner (Succasunna, N.J./Roxbury), who also started last week, has been called upon a team-high 18 times in relief and leads the staff with a 2.50 ERA.

Georgetown is on a six-game skid after getting swept at Rutgers this past weekend.  Previously, the Hoyas lost all three games to BIG EAST rival Pittsburgh at home, snapping a two-game win streak after mid-week games against UMES and Coppin State.  GU looked to stop the skid on Sunday, scoring four runs in the first and then retaking the lead, 8-6, with a three-run fifth, but the Scarlett Knights rallied for a 13-11 win.  Centerfielder Justin Leeson went 4-for-6 in the losing effort for the Hoyas while third baseman Corbin Blakey went 3-for-5, hitting his first home run of the year and driving in six runs.

Trevor Matern, who was used as a pinch-hitter in Sunday's loss, has a team-best .345 average (41-for-119) in 33 games played this season.  Leeson is not far back with a .318 average (63-for-198) and has stolen 14 bases in 2013.  Christian Venditti brings pop to the Hoya lineup, smacking seven home runs this year and adding eight doubles.

Charlie Steinman has been the horse out of the bullpen for the Hoyas, working 32.1 innings for a 4-3 record and 2.51 ERA.  He has finished off four shutouts and nailed down eight saves.

DAWG BITES

-          With the game against Towson on May 1, 2012 canceled due to rain, Georgetown was UMBC's final non-conference home opponent last season as well.

-          The two squads also closed out UMBC's regular season and home schedule in 2009.

-          UMBC has lost seven straight home finales, last winning its final home game in 2005 (13-6 vs. Hartford).

-          Junior Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) is 10-for-22 (.455) in six games against Georgetown.  He has hit two doubles and scored six runs in those games.