UMES BASEBALL OPENS 2013 CAMPAIGN WITH WEEKEND SERIES AT WINTHROP
Jesus Hernandez will start the first game for UMES against Winthrop.
Jesus Hernandez will start the first game for UMES against Winthrop.

Feb. 14, 2013

Game Notes - UMES @ Winthrop

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ROCK HILL, S.C. - The era of Pedro Swann begins on February 15th as UMES begins the 2013 season with a three-game weekend series against the Eagles of Winthrop University.

The set at the Winthrop Ballpark in Rock Hill, South Carolina begins on Friday with a 4 p.m. game. Game two is on Saturday at 3 p.m. while the series finale is on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Tickets for the games are available at the Winthrop Ticket Office, at the game at the Winthrop Ballpark or online on the Winthrop athletics website. Walk-up general admission tickets are five dollars for each game. Tickets for seniors and children are just three dollars each, while those attending in a group of 10 or more are charged two dollars per ticket.

UMES is coming off a 14-39 season, finishing in 3rd place in the MEAC Northern Division and the conference tournament. Winthrop was 10th in the Big South last year, concluding with a 17-35 overall record.

This will be the first-ever meeting between these two schools. UMES began last season with Big South opponent Gardner-Webb and will face two opponents from that conference this season, taking on VMI next week. Winthrop will take on MEAC opponents Delaware State and North Carolina A&T later this year.

UMES BASEBALL PREDICTED TO FINISH THIRD IN MEAC NORTH
The Hawks baseball team is predicted to finish third in the MEAC Northern Division, released by the conference on Wednesday.

UMES received 143 points in the voting. Delaware State has been predicted to repeat as division champions, earning 17 first-place votes for 213 points. Norfolk State got one first-place vote and is predicted to take second with 163 points and Coppin State is in fourth with 131 points.

 

 

Reigning MEAC champion Bethune-Cookman earned all 18 first-place votes and is predicted to win the conference's Southern Division.

LAST TIME OUT
UMES fell to Delaware State 7-2 in the loser's bracket of the MEAC Tournament, ending a strong postseason run that earned the team third place in the league. The Hawks finished the MEAC Tournament with victories over North Carolina Central and Delaware State and earned its highest finish in the postseason since 2006.

Tre-von Johnson and Byron Campbell each went 3-for-5 in the final game against Delaware State. In relief, Zachary Saca threw 2.2 innings, allowing just an unearned run and striking out two batters.

Pedro Swann TAKES OVER AS UMES HEAD COACH
UMES Director of Athletics Keith Davidson announced in September that former major leaguer and MEAC star Pedro Swann is the new head coach of Hawks baseball. Swann replaces Will Gardner, who left UMES after six seasons.

Swann brings a wealth of baseball experience to Princess Anne, playing in the professional ranks for 17 years from 1991 to 2007. He played for Delaware State from 1989-1991, earning all-conference honors all three years and hitting .421 with 26 home runs in his career. He is currently in the Delaware State University Athletic Hall of Fame.

THREE HAWKS EARN MEAC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
The Hawks had three players on the 2012 MEAC All-Tournament Team, tying with Delaware State for the most members on the squad. Stephen Bull, Byron Campbell and Karim Gonzalez all earned a place on the team.

Gonzalez started against Bethune-Cookman, throwing a complete game with a career-high 11 strikeouts and just one earned run. Bull hit .333 with a .400 on-base % in the four games, including 5-for-9 in the two wins. Campbell went .474 in the tournament, hitting three doubles and driving in five runs.

2012 IN REVIEW
UMES improved from nine to 14 wins in 2012, finishing with a 14-39 record and concluding in third place of the newly formed MEAC Northern Division with an 11-13 conference tally. In the MEAC Tournament, UMES upset 2-seed North Carolina Central and 1-seed Delaware State to earn a place in the MEAC semifinals, but lost twice to Bethune-Cookman and Delaware State to take third place in the postseason, the best finish since 2006. Tre-von Johnson earned All-MEAC Second Team for the second year running plus became the all-time hits leader at UMES. Byron Campbell, Stephen Bull and Karim Gonzalez all earned MEAC All-Tournament Team.

Tre-von Johnson: ALL-TIME HITS LEADER AT UMES
Two-time All-MEAC center fielder and team captain Tre-von Johnson became the all-time hits leader at UMES last season, hitting an RBI single against Delaware State on May 11, 2012 to pass Phil Vaughn's mark of 172 hits. Including 64 hits this season, Johnson has 183 hits in his career with the Hawks, including holding the single season UMES record with 70 hits in 2011.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
Winthrop, a member of the Big South Conference, is coming off a 17-35 season. The Eagles went 9-14 in conference play and will kick off the season, like most Division I teams, on Friday. The team will play its first seven games in South Carolina, including six at home.

The Eagles return their top batter from last season, junior outfielder TJ Olesczuk. He concluded the 2012 season hitting .279 with three home runs and 18 RBI. The next highest returner is senior first baseman Matt Lobacz, who hit .263 in 2012. Last season, the team hit .231 and returns just two of its two five hitters. Third among players back in senior shortstop Jason Driver, who had 13 doubles and a .214 batting average.

The entire weekend rotation is back from last year with three senior right-handers: Matt Pierpont went 4-8 with a 5.00 ERA and 74 strikeouts last year. Tyler Klitsch had the best ERA of the team last year at 3.32, going 4-7 with 46 strikeouts. The rotation rounded out with Eric Ruth, who struck out 75 batters, concluding with a 3-3 record and 5.02 ERA. The top returning pitcher out of the bullpen in sophomore lefty Michael Gilroy, who had a 6.20 ERA and a 1-2 record in 2012.

THREE HAWKS SELECTED AS SUMMER ALL-STARS
Three UMES players, Byron Campbell, Zachary Saca and Brandon Schott, earned All-Star berths in summer wooden-bat league play in 2012.

Campbell hit .379 with eight home runs and 44 RBI with the Sherrill Silversmiths to be named a New York Collegiate Baseball League All-Star. Saca pitched for the Auburn Wildcats in the Pacific West Baseball League, earning All-Star honors with a 3.12 ERA in 63.1 innings, going 5-2 in 15 appearances. For the Lexington Chops, Schott hit .386 with four home runs and 20 RBI to be named a Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League All-Star.

HAWKS BASEBALL RETURNS TO WGOP 540 AM
UMES baseball will be back on the air this season on the flagship station of the Hawks Radio Network, Timeless Favorites WGOP 540 AM. Dave Vatz will provide play-by-play for the games, while Steve Pettit serves as the primary producer in the studio. All games that are broadcast will be available online for free.