BALTIMORE – After dropping all three games at the season-opening Caravelle Resort's Baseball at the Beach tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C. over the weekend, the UMBC baseball team returns to the Mid-Atlantic region for two mid-week games against local foes. The Retrievers will travel up 1-95 on Tuesday to face the Delaware Blue Hens and then navigate the Baltimore Beltway to face the Towson Tigers for an in-state matchup on Wednesday. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
The Retrievers will send sophomore Jon Cobo (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) to the mound against the Blue Hens on Tuesday. The lefty will be making his first start of the season after getting the ball a total of 16 times last year, 11 of which came out of the bullpen. Cobo had an 0-2 record as a freshman, tossing one complete game, a seven-inning effort against Binghamton on May 18.
The Blue Hens will counter with junior Connor Hibbs (Odenton, Md.). The righty has made one appearance so far for Delaware this season, yielding three runs on three hits while retiring just one batter.
Scouting the Retrievers
UMBC (0-3) opened the season with a 5-3 loss to No. 10-ranked N.C. State at the tournament hosted by Coastal Carolina and followed with losses to West Virginia (4-0) and Indiana (7-1). Senior Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC) and sophomore Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West) paced the Retriever offense, each picking up three hits over the weekend. One of Gatto's hits was the team's first homerun of the season, while he also drew three walks.
On the mound, sophomore Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) limited the nationally ranked Wolfpack to just three runs on four hits, but was no-decisioned as the Pack drew even in the sixth. Out of the pen, the Retrievers received solid outings from a group of newcomers. Junior transfer Stephen Chrzanowski (Frederick, Md./Tuscarora/Hagerstown CC) threw two separate perfect innings for the Black and Gold while freshman Mike Gomez (Nutley, N.J./Don Bosco Prep) shutdown Indiana for three scoreless innings on Sunday.
Scouting the Blue Hens
Delaware enters the mid-week clash with UMBC with a 5-4 record after taking two out of three games in a home series against Monmouth. After dropping the series opener 7-3, the Blue Hens eked out a 5-4 win on Saturday and clinched the series win with an 11-4 victory in the finale.
Jimmy Yezzo leads the everyday Blue Hens starters with a .475 (19-for-40) batting average so far this season. Playing in all nine of Delaware's games, Yezzo has scored nine runs while hitting eight doubles and two triples. Just behind him, Nick Ferdinand has provided pop for the Blue Hen lineup, hitting .467 (14-for-30) with two homeruns and 14 runs batted in.
Overall, the Delaware pitching staff has recorded a 4.78 earned run average over the course of the opening nine contests. Three Blue Hen pitchers have still have a perfect 0.00 ERA, led by Stephen Richter who has come out of the bullpen on three occasions, earning a win against Monmouth while picking up the save versus Holy Cross.
All-Time Series vs. Delaware
The Blue Hens lead the all-time series with the Retrievers 37-13 after earning a 17-8 win last season at Bob Hannah Stadium. Delaware has won three straight meetings in the series, stopping a run of five victories in eight games for UMBC.
Last season, UMBC jumped out to an early lead behind three runs in the top of the first inning, but Delware responded with four in the bottom half and followed it with four more in the second inning. Gatto led the Retriever offense with a 3-for-4 day with two runs scored and an RBI, while Yezzo hit two homeruns for the hosts.
Scouting the Tigers
After posting a 6-3 record in nine road and neutral games to begin the year, Towson returns home to host Longwood on Tuesday before welcoming the Retrievers on Wednesday. This past weekend, the Tigers took the opening two games from Duke in Durham, before losing the series finale, 8-6.
Dominic Fratantuono and Kurt Wertz are each hitting above .300 for the Tigers who hold a .264 team batting average through nine games. Fratantuono is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with four extra-base hits and 12 RBI while Wertz has a .313 average (10-for-32) with two homers and three triples.
On the hill, Mike Ryan is 3-0 is his three appearances and has yet to give up a run. Three other Tiger relievers have yet to yield a run as well as Towson currently holds a 3.00 team ERA.
All-Time Series vs. Towson
UMBC and Towson have met 81 times, the second-most of any Retriever opponent, with the Tigers holding a 45-35-1 advantage. Last year Towson shutout UMBC at home, 11-0, in the only meeting of the year as the return date was cancelled due to rain. The Tigers have won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the two programs with UMBC claiming the 2011 matchup, 13-7, at Alumni Field.