BALTIMORE – The UMBC baseball team and second-year head coach Bob Mumma released its 2013 regular season schedule on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The Retrievers' 48-game schedule includes 23 games in Baltimore at the Baseball Factory Field to go along with a season-opening trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for the Coastal Carolina Tournament.
"I think it's a really strong schedule," said coach Mumma, now entering his second year as the head man after 15 years as an assistant. "We're going to get tested right away down in South Carolina, but I think that's a good thing."
With the expansion of America East Conference play, UMBC will now play each of its conference rivals six times during the year, limiting the non-conference schedule to just two weekends, in addition to the mid-week clashes.
For the second straight year, UMBC will begin the season on the road for a non-conference tournament, this time at TicketReturn.com Field, home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Mar. 1-3. While in South Carolina, the Retrievers will take on West Virginia, Florida Atlantic, and Indiana, on consecutive days. Although the Retrievers will not face former Big South rival and tournament host Coastal Carolina, their opponents are not foreign as they have faced all of them at least once in program history.
The Retrievers will use the next week, as well as the mid-week through the year to face numerous local rivals, including a two-game home-and-home series with Mount St. Mary's (Mar.9-10), an opponent which UMBC has faced 84 times, the most matchups versus any school in program history. The Retrievers will also square off against Towson (Mar. 6, May 1), Georgetown (Mar. 13, May 14), George Washington (Mar. 27, Apr. 24), and Coppin State (Apr. 23, May 9), all of whom the Black and Gold played last season. In addition, UMES (Apr. 3, May 8) returns to the schedule for the first time since 1987 while George Mason (Apr. 17) is on the slate for the first time in two years.
"We have some great teams on the schedule that will provide very good competition," coach Mumma said. "It's always exciting to play local rivals and it makes it a little easier to not have to travel all day to play a game."
But while the non-conference schedule will be challenging, a new format for America East play should help out the Retrievers in both facets. This season, each team will host and travel to the other America East squads for matching three-game series, eliminating the grueling four-game series of years past.
On just the third weekend of March, two weeks earlier than in 2011, UMBC opens league play at home against Binghamton (Mar. 16-17) and follows it with another home series versus Albany (Mar. 23-24). Other home conference series include visits from 2011 champion Maine (Apr. 13-14), 2012 America East champion and College World Series participant Stony Brook (May 4-5), and Hartford (May 11-12).
The Retrievers begin conference road play during an eight-game road swing with a trip to Long Island to play the Seawolves (Mar. 30-31), followed by a visit to Hartford (Apr. 6-7). Other conference stops include Binghamton (Apr. 20-21) and Albany (Apr. 27-28) on back-to-back weekends and Maine (May 17-18) to wrap up the season.
"The America East may be one of the most underrated conferences in the country," said coach Mumma. "With Stony Brook's run [to the College World Series], along with other regional wins lately, it shows that we can compete against anyone in the country."
Last season, Mumma's first as the head coach, UMBC matched its win total from 2011 going 10-42 with one of the victories coming in New Orleans at Tulane. The Retrievers also swept a three-game series against Coppin State and rallied for a thrilling come-from-behind win over Albany in ten innings.
Despite the graduation of a large senior class, returners from last year's team include 2011 America East All-Rookie selection Rob McCabe (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) and 2012 rookie team member Anthony Gatto (Hauppauge, N.Y./Smithtown West). Other returners include senior catcher Jason Allinder (Snow Hill, Md./Snow Hill/Chesapeake CC), senior outfielder Tom Gilchrist (Olney, Md./Sherwood/Chesapeake CC), junior right-hander Mac Gill (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson), sophomore outfielder Ian Glassman (Basking Ridge, N.J./Rutgers Prep), and junior righty Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run).