Pedro Swann and the Hawks will host the UMES Tournament this weekend.

Pedro Swann and the Hawks will host the UMES Tournament this weekend.

Feb. 28, 2013

Game Notes - UMES Tournament

Listen Live on the Hawks Radio Network! (UMES games only)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - The Hawks will host the UMES Tournament in Princess Anne, playing four games over three days. UMES will face the Big Red of Cornell in game one at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, followed by St. Peter's on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Then on Sunday, UMES will play the two schools again, facing Cornell at 11:30 a.m. and St. Peter's at 2:30 p.m. All six games will be played at Hawks Stadium.

In addition, Cornell and St. Peter's will play each other at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

UMES enters the tournament at 1-7, having last fallen to Lehigh in a doubleheader. Cornell, the reigning Ivy League champion, will begin the 2013 season with the UMES Tournament, finishing 31-17-1 last season. St. Peter's, a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, enters into Friday at 1-3, coming off being swept in a doubleheader to Fordham.

UMES last played Cornell last season, with the Big Red sweeping the four-game set at Hawks Stadium. The Hawks last played the Peacocks in 2011, falling in a mid-week doubleheader on the road.

Friday, March 1
--Cornell @ UMES, 11:30 a.m.
--Cornell vs. St. Peter's, 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 2
--St. Peter's @ UMES, 11:30 a.m.
--St. Peter's vs. Cornell, 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 3
--Cornell @ UMES, 11:30 a.m.
--St. Peter's @ UMES, 2:30 p.m.

After being defeated 13-2 in game one, UMES was up on Lehigh 4-0 after four innings in the second game, but the Hawks were defeated 8-4 in that contest to be swept in the Wednesday doubleheader at home.



Mike Escanilla hit safely in both games, going 3-for-7 in the twinbill from the leadoff spot. Byron Campbell combined to go 2-for-6, scoring two runs and stealing a base. Earning a hit in both games, Joshua James was 2-for-7 with a run, a walk and a stolen base.

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.

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.

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.

The four UMES rookie pitchers have been stalwart for the Hawks this season, combining to throw 16 innings from the bullpen and allowing just one earned run. J.P. Black has made three appearances for UMES this season, combining to throw 4.1 scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Will Turley has thrown the most innings for the Hawks, going six-and-two-thirds with just two unearned runs. Chris Lopez pitched 3.2 innings against VMI, giving up just one run, and James DiBuo has a 0.00 ERA after going 1.1 innings in his first appearance.

Cornell opens the 2013 season after winning the Ivy League last year. The Big Red began the 2012 campaign in the same place as last year at Hawks Stadium.

The team's top hitter from last season, senior Brian Billigen, led the Big Red with a .361 batting average, six home runs and 13 stolen bases. Back for his sophomore year, Chris Cruz hit 12 home runs and brought in 35 runs in 2012, hitting .258. Sophomore right-hander Connor Kaufmann will get the start in game one after earning a 7-2 record last year and a 3.90 ERA, including three complete games. The starter in the next game against UMES is to be determined.

St. Peter's lost six of its first seven games due to inclement weather and has not played a full weekend series this season.

Senior Matt Speckmann is the top hitter so far for the Peacocks, hitting .500 in his first four games with two doubles and three runs. Sophomore Nicholas Henriguezhas reached base six times in the early going, batting .364 with three RBI. Freshman righty John Leiter will make his first start against UMES. He has made one appearance from the bullpen, striking out four in two scoreless innings. The other starter is junior right-hander Eric Mozeika, who is 0-1 with an 8.59 ERA in two appearances.

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 Justin Harrison serves as the primary producer in the studio. All games that are broadcast will be available online for free.

Rookies Connor Breslin and Mike Escanilla make up the left side of the UMES infield, with Breslin taking up the hot corner and Escanilla playing st short. Early on, these two have been helpful to the lineup. Escanilla is the only Hawk that has reached base safely in every UMES game this season, while Breslin earned a hit in all games in the VMI Tournament.

Last season, the Hawks stole 37 bases in a total of 53 games, averaging just over two steals every three games. This year early on, UMES has attempted steals 15 times, being successful in 10 tries, averaging 1.3 steals a game. Byron Campbell leads the team with a perfect 4-4 on the basepaths. Tre-von Johnson and Mike Escanilla each have a pair of stolen bases with the former earning the pair on that many attempts.