New pitchers Chanin, Wozniak aid in successful baseball season

Top ranked pitchers helping UMBC baseball get off to a strong start this season

Matt Chanin and Conrad Wozniak are leading the baseball team to an amazing start with several strong showings this season.

UMBC baseball is off to a strong start this season, thanks in part to freshman pitcher Matt Chanin and junior transfer Conrad Wozniak. Statistically, both players are highly ranked in several important categories in the America East conference, along with the team’s overall pitching statistics.

Wozniak comes to the team after transferring from Frank Phillips College where he earned a spot on the NJCAA All-Conference First Team for Region V. He is credited with six starts so far this season and has one win.

He says he was attracted to UMBC by the school’s environment and the coaches.

“The coaches were one of the main reasons I came to UMBC. They seemed to know a lot about the game and their personalities seemed similar to mine. Also the great education and scenery,” Wozniak said. Although in the beginning, adjusting to the school was difficult for him, it has proven to be worth the work.

“It was a bit difficult at first. I came from a junior college that did not seem as demanding a task as here as far as education goes. I think I’ve adjusted well since coming here though,” he said. “It is everything I could have wanted coming from a junior college that did not have a lot to offer.”

“UMBC has a beautiful campus, great education and a great coaching staff. I could only have dreamed of a school like this back while in Texas’ at junior college. I think every moment I get to play is really a dream come true here. Getting to play division 1 baseball is always the best moment for me.”

Wozniak has a 1.49 earned run average and six earned runs allowed, both of which lead the America East conference. Wozniak has yet to allow a triple or a home run, which ties him for first. He also has a .209 opposing batting average, 16 batters struck out while looking and nine runs allowed that places him second in the conference for each statistic.

Wozniak is in the top 10 statistics for innings pitched (36.1), games started, hits allowed (28), walks allowed (nine), doubles allowed (six) and caught stealing by (three). Although none of this matters to him.

“I see [the statistics] from time to time because my family will tell me them but overall I typically do not care about the stats,” he said, “I only care about winning and hopefully changing the team for years to come into a championship ball club.”

Wozniak was named the America East Pitcher of the week on March 10 after his performance against The University of Toledo. In that game, Wozniak threw seven innings and only allowed two hits and no runs.

Although Wozniak believes the team has started out strong, he understands that there is room for improvement. “We can always improve but so far its been what we hoped for. I love our hitting and pitching for this team. [I] could not have asked to be on a better team, honestly,” said Wozniak.

“We’re excited to bring in two guys with excellent experience at a high JuCo level, in Kevin and Conrad,” head coach Bob Mumma said regarding Wozniak and fellow transfer Kevin Little during the summer. “I think they will be able to step in right away and help us solidify our rotation.”

Chanin, a freshman from Sherwood High school, has an impressive start so far in his college career. Chanin currently boasts a three win season, only receiving his first loss on Sunday against Stony Brook University. His three wins currently have him tied for second place in the conference for most wins.

Chanin is also currently tied eighth in batters struck out with 25 strikeouts, and tied for seventh with 10 batters struck out while looking.

Chanin previously received America East rookie of the week honors for his performance earlier in the season against Binghamton University. Chanin completed the sweep for the Retrievers by throwing five shutout innings that only resulted in four hits for Binghamton. Earlier in the week, he pitched against Mount St. Mary’s University, and threw a total of 7 strikeouts in two games.

Prior to the season, Mumma said, “Matt really came on during his senior year and if he continues to progress, he will push himself into a key spot for us.”

Wozniak and Chanin will hope to continue their strong season for the Retrievers on Wednesday as the team takes on Mount St. Mary’s who they earlier defeated 4-3 in extra innings.