TUCSON, Ariz. (Apr. 26, 2012) – Following a pair of midweek games against Southern Conference opponents, Furman and Western Carolina, the ETSU (19-21) baseball team made the near 2,000 mile trek to Tucson for a three-game set at No. 11 Arizona (26-13) beginning on Friday.
First pitch of the series opener on Friday will begin at 9:00 p.m. (ET). Game two on Saturday will start at 7:00 p.m. (ET), while Sunday’s series finale will be a 3:00 p.m. (ET) first pitch. Each game can be heard live on 640-WXSM and online at ETSUBucs.com.
ETSU sophomore right-hander Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) (2-5, 3.11 ERA) will get the start on Friday night and will face Arizona righty Kurt Heyer (7-1, 1.96 ERA).
Senior righty John Long (Anderson, S.C.) (5-4, 4.17 ERA) will earn the start in Saturday’s contest and will oppose Arizona right-hander Konner Wade (5-1, 3.84 ERA).
Sunday’s finale will pit ETSU righty Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) (4-2, 2.87 ERA) against UA righty James Farris (4-2, 4.33 ERA).
After taking the weekend conference series against Mercer, the Bucs earned a split against former Southern Conference rivals Furman and Western Carolina. ETSU pounded out a season-high 19 hits in a 14-2 road win at Furman on Tuesday night. Last night, the Bucs were defeated at home by Western Carolina, 6-1.
The new NCAA statistics were released on Monday and ETSU senior outfielder Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) continues to lead the nation in home runs with 17. Meanwhile, fellow senior Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) is just two home runs behind with 15. Scruggs and Pratt both went yard at Furman on Tuesday night.
The Bucs have already 45 home runs as a team this season, which ranks them inside the top-10 nationally. Meanwhile, Scruggs and Pratt have both hit more home runs than Arizona has hit as a team. The Wildcats have hit just 10 total long balls this season, but they do sport a .320 team batting average that ranks seventh nationally. Hi Corbett Field has yielded just seven home runs in 26 games so far this season.
Sophomore Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) boasts the highest batting average on the Buccaneer at a .344 clip. Freeman has reached base in 34 straight games. He also has six doubles, three triples, six homers and 35 RBI, while leading the squad with 54 hits.
Arizona currently sits atop the Pac-12 standings with a 12-6 conference record. Seth Mejias-Brean leads the Wildcats in batting average (.381), doubles (14) and slugging percentage (.516). The Wildcats did not have a midweek game this week, but they are coming off a series win against Washington over the weekend.
ETSU and Arizona will be meeting for the first time in baseball. The Bucs are winless against current Pac-12 opponents all-time at 0-4. ETSU dropped three games at Oregon in 2010, while also falling to Washington State in 2006.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.