April 20, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s lacrosse falls to Hofstra on Senior Night, 11-6 -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

VIDEO: UMass United Rally in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Charlotte continues to lead Atlantic 10

In the very competitive Atlantic 10 conference, only the Charlotte baseball team can truly say it is the cream of the crop.

The conference-leading 49ers (29-9, 12-3 A-10) average nearly 10 runs per game. The individual statistics for the 49ers jump off the page, as they feature seven players with at least a .300 batting average.

Leading the charge for Charlotte is junior Ryan Rivers, who was just awarded A-10 Player of the Week honors and is second on the team with a .397 average. It’s his power numbers though, that help propel his team to victory on a normal basis. Rivers has started all 38 games this year, registering 11 home runs and 50 runs batted in to go along with his robust average. The 6-foot-5, 230 pound Rivers is poised to have an even more productive year than his 2009 campaign, when he hit .313 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs in 52 games.

Right behind Charlotte is George Washington (21-19, 10-5 A 10). Last weekend, the Colonials hosted the 49ers to a three-game series and lost, 2-1. After losing the first game, 7-4, George Washington turned to its ace, junior Eric Cantrell, to turn in a solid effort. He did just that, throwing eight innings while allowing three earned runs on eight strike outs.

The 132-pitch victory solidified Cantrell as one of the top pitchers in the conference. In 10 starts this year, Cantrell has compiled league-leading statistics in almost every major pitching category. He currently leads the A-10 in earned run average (2.99), wins (seven), and strikeouts (83). Cantrell is also second in the league in innings pitched (69.1) and batting average against (.234). Unfortunately for George Washington, it dropped the rubber game of the series the following day, 8-5.

Although the 49ers and Colonials are favorites to win the conference, one rival could spoil it for them – Rhode Island. The Rams (20-18, 9-6 A-10) currently sit fourth in the division behind Charlotte, George Washington and Saint Joseph’s. However, Rhode Island is also the only A-10 team to defeat Charlotte in a series. The series began on April 10th when the Rams hosted the 49ers for a double-header, which was split. The following day, the Rams defeated the 49ers, 5-3.

Recently, Rhode Island is riding the hot play of its junior designated hitter Kyle Borden, who was 9-for-19 (.474) while driving in and scoring nine runs over a five-game span. The Rams went 3-2 over that period, with two victories coming over conference rival Xavier.

Rhode Island’s next conference series is this weekend, when it will travel to Pennsylvania for a three-game set against lowly Duquesne (8-33, 4-11 A-10). The Rams will have to wait until the final weekend of regular season play to see how they fare against George Washington, when they host the Colonials from May 20-22.

The top four and bottom four teams in the A-10 are currently separated by six teams that own either an 8-7 or 7-8 record. Those teams include: Fordham, La Salle, Saint Louis, Xavier, Dayton and Massachusetts. With six spots available for the A-10 championships and the regular season coming down the home stretch, the race is on for those teams.

Steve Levine can be reached at slevine@student.umass.edu.

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