Scrolling Headlines:

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

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 baseball eager to start season

Rehan Talat/Daily Collegian

Rehan Talat/Daily Collegian

Here in snowy Amherst, it’s hard to imagine that baseball season is near. In fact, when you look outside and see the two-plus feet of snow on the ground, it’s almost impossible to envision the crack of a bat or the pop of a catcher’s mitt.

But down in Cary, N.C., the weekend forecast calls for sun and 70 degree temperatures.

And that’s where the Massachusetts baseball team will open up its 2014 baseball season. With a three game series against Army, UMass will get its first chance to put a forgettable 14-31 record in 2013 behind it.

There are several ways to look at that season. One would be to look strictly at their record and declare the season a failure. Another is to look at the Minutemen’s 7-14 record in one- and two-run games. As any statistician will tell you, this indicates that they were victims of some pretty bad luck. A couple breaks, and that record in close games could easily be reversed.

Nobody is predicting that UMass will completely turn its record around, but some better luck and a solid returning cast means that there could be some improvement.

“I’m excited about the experience we have coming back in our lineup,” UMass coach Mike Stone commented. “Everybody worked hard in the offseason, and we have some freshmen who have come in and established themselves.”

The Minutemen bring back several of their top hitters from last season. Third baseman Nik Campero hit .305 and tied for second on the team with nine doubles. Outfielder Adam Picard hit .300, bashed four home runs and had 31 RBIs. First baseman Dylan Begin also hit four homers and led the team in slugging at .476.

On the mound, right-hander Andrew Grant and lefties Conor LeBlanc and Aaron Plunkett all return after throwing at least 60 innings each last season.

One player who notably won’t be returning is second baseman Rob McLam. After leading the team last year with 55 hits and a .311 average, McLam will be sitting out the season with a medical redshirt as he recovers from a torn ACL.

“Rob was our best hitter the past two years,” Stone said. “We’re going to miss him.”

Stone said that Picard or Begin will likely occupy the third spot in the batting order, where McLam started all 45 games last year.

On the other side of the injury front, the Minutemen will get redshirt junior outfielder Kyle Adie back after he missed the entire 2013 season. Adie stole 16 bases in 16 attempts in his last full season and scored 25 runs, good for second on the team.

“Kyle is an exciting player with lots of speed,” Stone said. “He makes things happen at the top of the lineup.”

UMass starts the season on Saturday against an Army team that has already played its first series of the season. The Black Knights went 1-2 against William & Mary last weekend.

The series kicks off Saturday at noon with sophomore Brandon Walsh getting the start for UMass. Ryan Moloney will start the second half of the doubleheader at 3 p.m.

Ross Gienieczko can be reached at rgieniec@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @RossCollegian.

Leave A Comment