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Pro Dawgs: Gatto, Wozniak Ink Pro Contracts with the Long Island Ducks and Gary Railcats
A pair of former UMBC baseball players signed professional contracts this past week, as Anthony Gatto and Conrad Wozniak signed with the Long Island Ducks (Atlantic League) and the Gary (Ind.) Railcats (American Association) respectively.
Kevin Lachance Picked in 10th Round of 2016 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers
UMBC baseball senior Kevin Lachance heard his named called late on day two of the 2016 MLB First Year Player Draft. The Clifton, Va. native was picked in the 10th round, pick number 311, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bob Mumma enters his third season as the head coach at UMBC for the 2014 spring season after being promoted from the assistant coach job in June 2011.
After a stellar collegiate career at UMBC and two seasons of professional baseball, Mumma returned to his alma mater in the fall of 1996 and has served as the Retrievers' assistant baseball coach for the past 15 seasons.
In Mumma's first season as the Retrievers' head coach in 2012, UMBC posted a 10-42 record, recording wins over Army and Navy as well as a victory over perennially ranked Tulane in New Orleans.
Tim O'Brien returns for his sixth season and will be working with the outfield and team defense for a second year after spending three years working with the pitching staff and infielders for one season.
In 2013, UMBC posted its best record since 2009, 18-30 overall and 9-21 in conference, while making vast improvements on the defensive side. The Retrievers recorded their best fielding percentage, .960, since 2007, and committed just 72 errors, compared to 110 miscues the year prior.
Under O'Brien's tutelage, the Retrievers pitchers decreased their team ERA over two runs per game. Austin Drewyer ranked second in NCAA Division I in fewest walks per nine innings while the entire staff ranked 49th. Drewyer and Mike Mitchell ranked among the country's leaders in complete games, ranking ninth and 42nd, respectively. O'Brien's work with the staff included a more rigorous fitness program and the benefits paid dividends as not a single pitcher missed time due to injury in 2011. As infield coach, O'Brien's tenure began the inclusion of Vinnie Corbi, Anthony Gatto and Jake Barnes, this year's most experienced returners.
Former professional baseball player and longtime coach Larry Williams joined the UMBC baseball staff in October 2012. Williams played professionally with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization from 1970-1975 before entering into the coaching and scouting field where he has worked ever since.
In Williams' first season with UMBC, the Retrievers recorded an eight-win improvement from 2012, going 18-30 overall with a 9-21 mark in the America East Conference. The defense improved its efficiency posting a .961 fielding percentage, up from .942 in 2012. With a steady defense behind it, the UMBC staff lowered its team ERA by over four points from the previous season.
Williams played middle infield for the Pirates' minor league teams and will work specifically with the Retrievers' infield defense, in addition to helping with hitting, bunting, and base running instruction.
Pitching Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
Liam Bowen was named assistant baseball coach at UMBC in September 2011. He serves as the program's pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.
In just Bowen's second year in control of the Retriever pitching staff, the UMBC hurlers lowered the team ERA (4.78) by over four points from the previous season. With an improved staff, the ball club made an eight-win improvement from 2012 going 18-30 overall with a 9-21 mark in America East play, the squad's best record since 2008. Junior reliever Jon Cohn led the resurgence, gaining a spot on the All-Conference First Team.
Bowen came to Baltimore after working as the pitching coach for Lincoln Memorial during the 2011 season. The team's ERA fell from 7.67 the year before to 5.42 in 2011.