Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Minutemen tangle with Bobcats

For the first time this season, the Massachusetts baseball team has a winning conference record after taking two out of three games at Dayton over the weekend.

“It’s great. That’s what we’re trying to do and we’ve had five great weekends in a row,” UMass coach Mike Stone said. “We’re taking it one game at a time and trying to put together a good effort.”

UMass (16-23, 11-10 Atlantic 10) plays Quinnipiac on Tuesday afternoon, its final non-conference opponent, before taking on Xavier and La Salle in its last two three-game series of the season.

“It’s another opportunity for us to build a better season and we need to give a good effort,” Stone said. “We’re only playing one game this week and we need to take advantage of the opportunity to play. I think we’ll be ready to go.”

The Bobcats (14-30, 13-11 Northeast) are tied for third place in the NEC. They are coming off a series versus Fairleigh Dickinson in which they took three out of four games.

The Minutemen currently sit tied for seventh place in the A-10 with Fordham, but only two games separate seventh and second place. Rhode Island and Saint Joseph’s share that spot with a 13-8 conference record. Saint Joseph’s overall record is 18-23, only two wins better than UMass.

Still, the Minutemen cannot afford to look past this game, knowing that its two most important conference series wait ahead.

“Hopefully we avoid that,” Stone said. “It’s something that we talk about, we remind everybody how important it is to play well everyday. We can’t dwell on that, we’re trying to stay focused and have a good ballgame.”

The Bobcats, as a team, do not hit many home runs, as Brian Monack leads them with seven home runs. Their opponents are out-homering them by 19, and they’re last in the NEC in home runs with 24, with a slugging percentage of .398.

However, small ball is not part of Quinnipiac’s game either. They are at the bottom of the NEC in sacrifice bunts with only eight, tied for last in sacrifice flies, and second to last in stolen base attempts. Like UMass, Quinnipiac has only two players with over five steals. Ryan Ullrich is 10-of-13 while Mickey Amanti is 9-of-13 in bases swiped.

No one on the Bobcats pitching staff with at least six innings pitched has an earned run average under five. As a team, their combined ERA is just under eight at 7.98, while opponents have an ERA of 4.99 against them.

For the Minutemen, sophomore Ben Hart will make his first and only start on the mound.

“He’s pitched well in relief and it’s time to give him a start,” Stone said. “We’re anxious to see what he can do.”

The two teams have met in each of the past three years, with UMass taking two of those games. In their most recent matchup on May 12, 2009, the Minutemen took an early 8-1 advantage in the first three innings and won easily, 12-5. Current senior outfielder Brian Baudinet had a home run in the game.

Pete Vasquez can be reached at pvasquez@student.umass.edu.

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