Scrolling Headlines:

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball prepares for Richmond

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian File Photo

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian File Photo

The Massachusetts baseball team will look to continue its positive momentum this weekend when it travels to Virginia to face Richmond and its powerful lineup.

The Minutemen (3-13, 2-1 Atlantic 10) have won two of their last three games but have struggled to maintain consistency this season. The Spiders (8-12-1, 1-2 Atlantic 10) meanwhile have gone 8-5-1 in their last 13 games after beginning the season 0-7.

Battling the difficult weather in Philadelphia, the Minutemen got their first A-10 wins of the season, taking two out of the three games against La Salle. Previously, UMass struggled scoring, averaging 2.38 runs over its first 13 games.

Despite the early struggles, Minutemen coach Mike Stone saw improvement in his team’s series against La Salle.

“We were finally able to get runners across and get some big hits from guys,” Stone said. “It is good to see the team coming around.”

While he feels like his team is improving, they have a tough test in an improved Richmond team this weekend.

“This team has been playing good baseball lately and it is going to be a tough weekend,” Stone said. “I know my guys will be ready to play and hopefully we can build on the series win over La Salle.”

The Minutemen will have an opportunity to improve their execution against a tough Richmond pitching staff, which includes Zak Sterling and Zach Grossfeld. Sterling has a 2.84 ERA in 31.2 innings of work, while Grossfeld has a 3.00 ERA in 21.0 innings.

UMass will counter with southpaw Conor LeBlanc, who is the leader of the Minutemen’s pitching staff. LeBlanc is 1-2 with a 3.67 ERA on the season. He has allowed 35 hits in 34.1 innings pitched, while striking out six and walking five.

LeBlanc will have his hands full against a dangerous Richmond lineup led by Atlantic 10 home runs leader Matt Dacey. Dacey has five home runs and 18 RBIs on the season. Meanwhile, Doug Kraeger is hitting .306 with eight doubles and 15 RBIs on the season. Tyler Beckwith has given the Spiders a boost at the top of the lineup with a .328 average and a .400 on-base percentage.

“They have dangerous hitters throughout their lineup, guys who can really hit the ball a long way,” Stone said.

The Spiders lead the A-10 in home runs with 13. Seven Richmond players have connected for a home run on the season. They have averaged 5.24 runs per contest in their first 21 games of the season.

John Jennings has been a force at the top of the order for the Minutemen, posting a .333 average, a .485 slugging percentage and five doubles. He was 3-for-8 over the weekend against La Salle, scoring twice and hitting his team leading fifth double.

Freshman Mike Geannelis has lent a helping hand for the UMass lineup, posting a .378 on-base percentage while hitting for a .324 average. Kellen Pagel’s first career home run, a three run shot, on Saturday lifted the Minutemen to an 8-6 victory.

First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday at Pitt Field.

Tyler Fiedler can be reached at tfiedler@umass.edu.

Leave A Comment