Up and down essentially describes the 2017 UMBC baseball season so far. This past week of April 10 bared similar results, as the Retrievers struggled early before rattling off a couple of wins on Saturday, April 15.
The Retrievers (11-16, 5-4 in America East Conference) opened their week against the George Washington University Colonials on Tuesday. After the Colonials (18-18, 4-5 in Atlantic 10) struck first in the bottom of the first on Bobby Campbell’s RBI double, UMBC responded with a two run double off the bat of senior catcher/infielder Hunter Dolshun to give them a 2-1 lead after 3 innings.
The Retrievers bats went silent after that, mustering two hits for the remaining five innings. As the Retrievers struggled to get a hit, George Washington tied the game in the fourth on junior infielder Robbie Metz’s RBI single and took the lead for good in the eighth on a fielders choice by junior catcher Brandon Chapman.
UMBC’s woes continued against the Coppin State University Eagles and conference foe, the University of Hartford Hawks. The Retrievers used seven pitchers against Coppin State (8-22, 6-8 in MEAC), giving up seven walks. Consecutive three run innings in the fifth and sixth innings allowed Coppin State to pull away and win 10-4 despite getting only five hits.
In the first of a three game set against Hartford (11-18, 3-6 in AEC), the pitching struggled once again down the stretch in route to a 16-7 loss. The Retrievers held a 2-1 lead going into the fourth inning before the Hawks put up crooked numbers in the final five frames, including a trio of three run innings and a four run sixth inning.
The Retrievers bounced back in their double header on Saturday. In the afternoon game, UMBC received a solid effort on the mound from junior Matt Chanin and redshirt senior Michael Austin. The two combined to allow three runs through seven innings of work. The offense took it from there, scoring three of of Dolshun’s homer and junior outfielder Collin Stack’s RBI single to give the Retrievers the lead for good. They added four in the seventh to take the first game 7-3.
In the nightcap, both teams’ bats lit up the field. The Retrievers hammered Hawks freshman pitchers Nathan Florence and Drew Farkas in the top of the third, tagging them for ten runs on seven hits and three walks. Hartford chipped away inning by inning, including a five run effort in the eighth, but ultimately fell short. On the strength of six free passes, two doubles and three home runs, the Retrievers took the final game as well, along with the series 13-12.
UMBC returns to the friendly confines of Alumni Park this weekend when they host the University of Massachusetts Lowell. After that, the Retrievers will spend the next month away on the road, where they have a 5-9 record. Several of the games are within the Maryland/D.C. Area, with matchups against Georgetown University, Towson University, The Naval Academy, and the University of Maryland.