BALTIMORE – On the heels of the program's first-ever series sweep of America East rival Albany, the UMBC baseball returns to Baltimore for two mid-week games. The Retrievers will host George Washington on Tuesday for a 6:00 p.m. game at Alumni Field, and then make the short trip to Joe Cannon Stadium in Hanover, Md. to play Coppin State on Wednesday, also at 6:00 p.m.
UMBC (10-18, 6-6 AE) is riding a four-game win streak after defeating Delaware State at home last Wednesday, and then sweeping conference rival Albany in New York. Freshman Andrew Casali (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) hit .412 (7-for-17) for the week and was named the America East Rookie of the Week on Monday. The rookie outfielder collected at least one hit in each game to extend his streak to 14 straight with at least one base knock.
George Washington (11-22, 4-8 A-10) won the first two games of its weekend series against LaSalle in Philadelphia, but dropped the finale, 5-1. UMBC and GW were scheduled to meet in Arlington, Va. back on March 25, but the game was postponed and moved to April 22 due to inclement weather.
Coppin State (8-21, 6-8 MEAC) has lost its last four after getting swept by Delaware State over the weekend at Joe Cannon Stadium. Previously, the Eagles lost a 10-4 decision to George Washington on April 8 in Northern Virginia.
Junior Shane Vlasic (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) is scheduled to get the start for the Retrievers against GW. Vlasic (1-1, 7.58 ERA) has pitched the last two mid-week games for the Retrievers, earning the win against UMES on April 2. Neither George Washington nor Coppin State has listed a scheduled starter.
The Retrievers are 5-4 at Alumni Field this season after exploding for 17 runs on 13 hits against Delaware State last week. UMBC also drew 12 walks in the game with Casali, junior Vince Corbi (Medford, N.J./Shawnee), freshman Hunter Dolshun (Warwick, N.Y./Warwick Valley), and junior Jake Barnes (Annandale, Va./Annandale) each notching multi-hit games.
Over the weekend, UMBC received quality starts from sophomores Riley Stephenson (Frederick, Md./Boonsboro) and Joe Vanderplas (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax/Tennessee) to win the opener and finale. The Retrievers rallied for five runs in the top of the seventh to claim a 9-5 win in the middle game. Stephenson and Vanderplas combined to throw 13 innings, yielding just one earned run, and did not walk a single batter.
Senior outfielder Owen Beightol leads the GW attack with a .333 average this season. Beightol has connected for 11 doubles while driving in 12 runs. Junior Ryan Xepoleas is just behind his outfield partner with a .320 average, but leads the team with 16 RBI.
Coppin State is hitting just .225 as a team this season with Jack Kraft leading the Eagle attack with a .299 batting average. The sophomore has legged out three triples this season, to go along with four doubles, and leads the team with 18 RBI.
- UMBC and George Washington split the two-game season series in 2013 with each team winning on the opponent's field. GW leads the all-time series, 29-15.
- The Retrievers swept Coppin State last season, winning 2-1 in 12 innings at Alumni Field and then shutting out the Eagles, 6-0, at Joe Cannon Stadium. UMBC leads the all-time series between the Baltimore rivals, 41-1.
- Barnes' only hit against GW last season was a two-run home run in UMBC's win in Arlington, Va.
- The Retrievers are attempting to play two mid-week games in the same week for the second time this season.