Preview: University of Maine baseball vs. Massachusetts

Posted April 24, 2012, at 6:49 p.m.


Time, site: 3 p.m. Wednesday, Lorden Field, Amherst, Mass.

Records: Maine 21-16, Massachusetts 14-14

Series, last meeting: Maine leads 50-44-1, UMass 15-8 on 5/10/05

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Top hitters: Maine — C Tyler Patzalek (.340, 3 HR, 27 RBI), DH Fran Whitten (.308, 1 HR, 21 RBI), CF Colin Gay (.299, 1 HR, 17 RBI, 6 SB), SS Mike Fransoso (.291, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 13 SB) 3B Alex Calbick (.277, 4 HR, 33 RBI); UMass — LF Rich Graef (.341, 9 RBI), CF Anthony Serino (.299, 15 RBI, 6 SB), 2B Ryan Cusick (.284, 5 RBI, 17 SB), C Tom Conley (.270, 11 RBI)

Pitching matchup: Maine — LH Jon Balentina (2-0, 5.40, 13 K’s); UMass — LH Conor LeBlanc (3-0, 2.19, 15)

Outlook: The Black Bears are hoping to regain that winning feeling after losing two at Binghamton on Sunday. UMaine bumps up its midweek opposition after three straight midweek wins over instate Division III foes. The Minutemen have won three of their last four, including Sunday’s 12-0 Atlantic 10 victory at St. Louis. UMass, which is 8-4 in league play, has excelled with its pitching. It boasts a 3.69 team ERA while holding opponents to a .260 batting average. By contrast, the Bears have a 5.36 ERA. UMaine also expects to get mound work for Steve Perakslis, Mike Connolly, Eric White and Whitten. UMass is hitting .263 overall, averaging only four runs per contest. The Minutemen haven’t played at home since April 7. UMaine is 6-2 this season against left-handed starters.


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