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Baseball Looks Strong Entering AMCC Tournament

FROSTBURG, MD - With three wins over the final weekend of the regular season, the Frostburg State baseball team earned itself the fourth and final seed in the 2004 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament. The Bobcats will open play against the number one seed, and host, Pitt-Bradford Panthers on Friday, April 30th at 9:00 am.

The Bobcats (22-16 overall, 6-6 AMCC) dropped both games of a doubleheader just two weeks ago at Pitt-Bradford (18-14, 9-3). In the other first round game, second seed La Roche (17-15, 7-5) will face third seed Penn State-Altoona (16-18, 7-5) at noon on April 30th.

FSU will look to sophomore Mike Tiller (Potomac/Dumfries, Va.) to get the Bobcats out of the first round with a big upset victory. Tiller has yet to face Bradford in his two season at Frostburg, but in that time Tiller has proven he will be ready to go when the pressure is on.

Tiller, who leads the starting rotation with a 2.68 ERA, has yet to get much run support this season which is the reason for his unimpressive 2-2 record. In his two victories, the Bobcats only provided Tiller with four runs scored as he defeated Emory & Henry 2-0 and then Penn State Behrend 2-1. In his two losses this season, both in conference play, Tiller allowed only four earned runs in 10 and one-third innings pitched. Offensively the Bobcats only managed to score two runs as they fell 1-0 to Penn State Altoona and 8-2 to Pitt-Greensburg.

Also taking the mound this weekend for the Bobcats will be senior Brent Lutz (Central/Toms Brook, Va.) who leads the team with 37 strikeouts in 37 and two-thirds innings. Lutz, who was named AMCC and ECAC Pitcher of the Week for his efforts against national powerhouse Southern Maine, is scheduled to throw game two for the Bobcats depending on the results of both first round match-ups.

Offensively, the Bobcats will look to junior Scott Feller (American Heritage/Boca Raton, Fla.), who missed seven games, five of which were conference games, due to injury. Feller, despite missing seven games, leads the team in batting average, RBI, doubles, home runs, slugging percentage, and total bases. Included in the games missed, Feller played in only one of six regular season games against the opposing three teams in AMCC tournament.

For Pitt-Bradford they will look to seniors Nick Eichenlaub and Dave Brown, and junior Tim Lentz to carry them to Bradford’s third AMCC title since 2001. Eichenlaunb, who pitched a complete game shutout against the Bobcats on April 17th, is 5-3 overall with 43 strikeouts in just 44 innings pitched. He has thrown four complete games, two of which were shutout wins.

Lentz, who leads the conference ranks second in the conference with a .432 batting average, leads his team with 38 hits (16 for extra bases), five homeruns, 24 RBI, and 54 total bases. Brown, who ranks just behind Lentz with a .393 batting average, leads the team with 23 runs scored and can plays with both speed and power as he has 33 hits, including five doubles, two triples and three homeruns.

For La Roche College, the Redhawks enter the tournament dropping its last three contests. They are led by Michael Hanck, who leads the conference with his .438 batting average. He also leads his team with 22 walks, nine extra base hits, and 39 hits. On the mound, La Roche will look to Jeff Butterworth, who leads the conference with 53 and two-thirds innings pitched. His 3.35 ERA ranks him second in conference and has guided him to a team best 5-2 record.

Out of bullpen the Redhawks are led by Ruben De Leon, who has recorded a conference high nine saves in 23 appearances. He has also earned four wins, all in relief.

The Bobcats and the Redhawks split a doubleheader this season, as La Roche won the first game 3-1 and FSU bounced back to take the second game 6-4.

For Penn State Altoona, who come in losers of six of its last nine games, will look to a core of young talent to carry them through the tournament, including junior Jake Hargraves, sophomores Chad Barniff and Eric London. Hargraves, who ranks among the conference leaders with a .366 batting average, will team with Braniff to drive in runs.

Braniff is ranked fourth in the conference with a .382 batting average and 39 hits. On the Mound, London will lead the way for the Lions as he leads his team with 48 innings pitched and opposing batters are hitting just .239 off the right-hander.

The schedule for the weekend tournament at University of Pittsburg at Bradford is as follows:

AMCC Tournament
April 30 - May 2
at Pitt-Bradford

Friday, April 30
9:00am - Game 1:
#1 Pitt-Bradford vs. #4 Frostburg St.
12:00n - Game 2:
#2 La Roche vs. #3 PS-Altoona
3:00pm - Game 3:
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2

Saturday, May 1
9:00am - Game 4:
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
12:00n - Game 5:
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4
3:00pm - Game 6:
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Sunday, May 2 12:00n - Game 7:
Same as Game 6 (if needed)

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of Sports Information
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-4371
Fax: 301-687-4780