HAWKS BEGIN MEAC PLAY THIS WEEKEND AGAINST COPPIN STATE
Pedro Swann and the Hawks will begin conference play with Coppin State on Saturday.

Pedro Swann and the Hawks will begin conference play with Coppin State on Saturday.

March 15, 2013

Game Notes - UMES vs. Coppin State

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PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - UMES is set to begin conference play this weekend, hosting in-state rival Coppin State for a three-game series at Hawks Stadium. Due to concerns with inclement weather in the area the times have been changed: the two will play a single game on Saturday at 3 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at noon.

This will be the first of three series between the two Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opponents. Each compete in the MEAC Northern Division.

The Hawks are coming off a four-game series split with Lafayette and stands at 3-13 this year going into MEAC play. Coppin State, also starting conference play this weekend, was swept by Lehigh at home last weekend and enters Saturday at 3-11.

Last season UMES played a pair of three-game series against Coppin State, sweeping each to win all six games. The Hawks have won eight of the last nine games against their Baltimore-based rival.

SCHOTT NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
The Greater Wichita Sports Commission announced on Monday that UMES catcher Brandon Schott has been placed on the 2013 Johnny Bench Award Watch List. This award is given to the top catcher in Division I college baseball each year.

Schott, the only player that plays in Maryland or the MEAC to be nominated for the award, is hitting .293 in 11 games started this season, leading the squad with five doubles and has driven in seven runs. He also has earned a .415 slugging percentage.

LAST TIME OUT: UMES SPLITS WITH LAFAYETTE
In UMES's final non-MEAC weekend series this year, the Hawks split with Lafayette in a four-game set. UMES won game one 10-3, fell to game two 7-6 in seven, rebounded to take game three 5-4 and was defeated in the final game 15-1 in seven.

 

 

Byron Campbell hit well again to increase his hitting streak to 12 games, going .467 on the weekend with five runs scored. In his first start as a Hawk, freshman Chris Lopez earned the win in the first game, going 5.2 innings with just two earned runs.

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.

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.

FEAR THE FRESHMEN PITCHERS
The four UMES rookie pitchers have been stalwart for the Hawks this season, combining to throw 35.2 innings from the bullpen and allowing 14 earned runs for a 3.53 ERA. Two of them, Chris Lopez and Will Turley, earned starts against Lafayette. Lopez earned his first UMES victory with 5.2 innings and allowing just two earned runs. Despite getting a no decision, Turley, who now has a 1.54 ERA, pitched five innings on Sunday, giving up just two earned runs.

NEW LOOK INFIELD PAYS DIVIDENDS
Outside of Jeffrey Fleetwood, UMES has relied on a young infield group this season that has been very strong early on.

At the left side of the infield, two freshmen man the ranks with Connor Breslin, who is on a seven-game hitting streak, taking the hot corner and Mike Escanilla, who is second on the team with 10 runs, serves as the squad's shortstop.

At second base, Thomas Gray took over for Joshua James, who went out to center field. In 11 games played, Gray is hitting .345 with a .429 on-base percentage and seven RBI, having reached base safely in his last eight contests, getting hits in six of those games.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENT:
Coppin State will play its first MEAC series after getting swept by Lehigh, despite throwing a no-hitter in game one. The Eagles were predicted to finish fourth in the MEAC North this season.

As a team, the Eagles are hitting .206 this season, led by sophomore catcher Alex Brown, who stands with a .319 batting average and five RBI. Junior outfielder Chris Kashangaki has stolen 11 bases and currently has a .302 batting average, while junior third baseman Chris Godfrey has a home run and a team-best eight RBI, batting .256.

On the pitching end, Coppin State sports a 7.53 ERA into Saturday. The top pitcher coming into the series is sophomore righty Myles Taylor, who after four outings has a team-best, 2.37 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 19 innings. Likely starters include right-hander Yahya Muhammad, who has a 21.00 ERA in six innings, and junior righty Darryl Martinez, who is 1-2 with a 8.64 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 16.2 innings.

LORD BYRON
Byron Campbell, last year's Co-Most Improved Player for the UMES baseball, is on an 12-game hitting streak going into the weekend. Currently he leads the team in many categories, including a .393 batting average, a .482 slugging percentage, a .485 on-base percentage, 13 runs, five doubles, seven walks and seven stolen bases.

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

RUN!
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 26 times, being successful in 18 tries, averaging 1.1 steals a game. Byron Campbell leads the team with a perfect seven steals out of seven attempts on the basepaths. Mike Escanilla has three steals to stand second while Joshua James, Tre-von Johnson and Malik Wylie all have a pair of steals each.

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.