BALTIMORE – In the middle of traveling on back-to-back weekends to New York for America East games, the UMBC baseball team returns home to Alumni Field to host Delaware State on Wednesday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
UMBC (6-18, 3-6 AE) was swept last weekend at Binghamton in a weather-shifted three game set, after splitting two mid-week games. The Bearcats took the opener, 16-3, on Saturday afternoon before completing the sweep with two wins in Sunday's doubleheader. Freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley) was a bright spot for the Retrievers, hitting .444 (8-for-18) for the week and collecting at least one hit in each contest to bring his streak to 13 games.
Delaware State (14-10, 5-4 MEAC) hosts Towson for a single game on Tuesday afternoon before coming to the Old Line State for Wednesday's contest at Alumni Field. The Hornets defeated the Retrievers, 16-9, in Dover last Tuesday before falling to the Tigers, 4-1, on Wednesday. DSU then took two of three in conference action at Norfolk State over the weekend.
Senior right-hander Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) will get the start for the Retrievers while Delaware State has not announced a starter. Vlasic (1-1, 7.36 ERA) earned his first win since 2012 last week, tossing six innings against UMES, striking out six batters, and scattering five hits. The veteran righty red-shirted the 2013 season for the Retrievers.
Dolshun leads the Retriever offense with a .333 average for the season, while also hitting .333 (13-for-39) in non-conference play. In addition to his hit streak, Dolshun has reached base safely in 18 straight games. Sophomore Mark Esposito (Bethany, Conn./Amity Regional) has also excelled in out-of-conference play, hitting .316 with five RBI and six runs scored.
D.J. Miller (.474) and David Kimbrough (.464) rank first and second, respectively, in the nation in hitting to lead the potent Hornet attack. Mike Alexander (.417) and Aaron Nardone (.405) are also batting over .400 for an offense that is hitting .336 as a team. Thirteen of Miller's 37 hits this season have gone for extra bases while Nardone has driven in a team-best 22 runs.
Delaware State took the first game between the two teams this season, 16-9, on April 1 in Dover as Miller went 5-for-5 at the plate to drive in two runs. He also scored two, while Nardone homered in the game as a part of a 3-for-5 day at the plate. Dolshun led UMBC with a three-hit day while freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan), junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee), and sophomore Manny Colon (Williamstown, N.J./Buena Regional) also collected multi-hit games.
UMBC still holds the all-time series lead, 15-10, but the Hornets have won each of the last three meetings. Before the matchup two weeks ago, the two teams had not faced each other on the diamond since 2002.
- UMBC is 4-4 at the friendly confines of Alumni Field this season.
- The Retrievers have lost six straight games to teams from the First State. UMBC last earned a win against a team from Delaware when the Retrievers defeated the University of Delaware, 12-11, on March 4, 2008.
- Four of UMBC's five home runs in 2014 have come in non-conference play.
- UMBC stole two bases against Delaware State in the April 1 game and have swiped 30 bases in 39 attempts this season.