AUBURN, Ala. (Feb. 20, 2014) – The ETSU baseball team gears up for its first road trip of the season as the Buccaneers head to Alabama for this weekend’s Tiger Classic, which is hosted by Auburn University.
The Bucs play three games in three days, beginning with Pac-12 foe California on Friday afternoon at Plainsman Park. ETSU also faces Arkansas Pine-Bluff Saturday and Auburn Sunday. First pitch for all three games is set for 3 p.m. (Eastern).
PITCHING ROTATION / GAME TIMES
Friday – 3 p.m. – Game No. 5
LHP Clinton Freeman (0-1, 4.05) vs. RHP Daulton Jefferies (1-0, 0.00)
Saturday – 3 p.m. – Game No. 6
RHP Griffin Krieg (0-0, 5.40) vs. TBD
Sunday – 3 p.m. – Game No. 7
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (1-0, 3.86) vs. RHP (Keegan Thompson (1-0, 0.00)
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
-- ETSU (2-2) suffered a 5-3 setback to Furman Tuesday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
-- Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) drove in two of the three runs for the Bucs, while freshman Gage Downey (Franklin, Tenn.) reached base twice for ETSU and scored two runs.
-- Freshman right-hander Austin Hutchison (Jefferson County, Tenn.) made his first collegiate start as he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in four innings, while Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) made his Buccaneer debut but took the loss. McCann was charged with one run on five hits in two innings of work.
-- The game was tied after five innings of play, but Furman’s Greg Harrison posted a two-out double to plate the eventual game-winning run in the sixth. The RBI double was one of three 2-out RBI for the Paladins, but the Bucs had scoring chances late; however, ETSU hit into double plays in the sixth and eighth innings.
-- The Golden Bears split their opening series with then-No. 18 Texas last weekend in Berkeley. Cal won the first two games of the series (7-0, 2-1), before the Longhorns won the final two to earn the split.
-- Friday starter, Daulton Jefferies, tossed six scoreless innings in his collegiate debut to earn the win. The freshman right-hander scattered six hits and struck out four en route to being named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
-- Cal took advantage of five Texas errors in the series opener as six of the seven runs scored by the Golden Bears were unearned.
-- Senior outfielder Vince Bruno hit safely in all three games he played and is hitting .556 after going 5-for-9 with one RBI. Junior utility player Derek Campbell also finished with five hits in the opening series and scored three runs. Three of Campbell’s five hits were doubles.
-- Cal was picked to finish seventh in the Pac-12 Preseason Poll.
ETSU vs. CAL
-- This weekend marks the first-ever meeting between ETSU and Cal, and it’s the fourth Pac-12 member the Bucs will face in program history. ETSU played at Arizona in 2012, at Oregon in 2010, and played Washington State in Charleston, S.C., in 2006.
ABOUT ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
-- Arkansas-Pine Bluff played six games through the first five days of the season as the Golden Lions opened the campaign with a four-game series at Tulane, before traveling to Norman, Okla., to take on the Sooners on Tuesday and Wednesday.
-- Despite hitting .211 as a team, the Golden Lions have two players hitting over .350. Freshman two-way player Jerimiah Figueroa leads the team with a .368 clip (7-19), while junior two-way player Andre Davis is hitting .350 (7-20).
-- Arkansas-Pine Bluff was picked to finish third in the SWAC West Division, while the Golden Lions placed two on the preseason all-conference team. Senior infielder/RHP Isias Alcantar landed first team honors, while left-handed pitcher Jim Ploeger received second team accolades. Alcantar hit .345 (71-206) with 11 doubles, one triple, six home runs and 44 RBI in 2013, and Ploeger went 5-4 with a 4.11 ERA (33 ER/72.1 IP) in 13 appearances (11 starts) for the Golden Lions a year ago.
SERIES VS. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF
-- This is the first-ever meeting between ETSU and Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
-- After winning two of its three games over the weekend for first-year head coach Sunny Golloway, Auburn dipped to 2-2 on the year after being dealt a 9-3 home loss to Alabama State on Wednesday. The Tigers beat Indiana State (4-0) and Connecticut (7-3) in the season opening Snowbird Classic in Port Charlotte, Fla.
-- The Tigers have been led by strong pitching early on as Auburn has posted a 2.06 ERA (8 ER/35.0 IP) through the first four games, but its hitters have compiled a .217 batting average. Auburn’s offense has scored 14 runs, while two of its 26 hits have gone for extra-bases.
-- Sunday’s starter, Keegan Thompson, allowed one unearned run and struck out nine in 5.2 innings in his collegiate debut against UConn last Sunday. Thompson was rated the No. 14 overall prospect for the 2016 MLB Draft by Perfect Game.
-- Auburn was picked to finish seventh in the SEC West.
ETSU VS. AUBURN
-- Sunday marks the sixth meeting between ETSU and Auburn with the Tigers leading the all-time series, 4-1.
-- The Bucs opened the 2008 season with a four-game series at Auburn, while the Blue and Gold defeated the Tigers, 9-7, in 1994.
-- Live stats for the tournament will be provided via Gametracker, courtesy of AuburnTigers.com.
-- Only Sunday's game against Auburn will feature live video.
-- Twitter updates will be provided by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
-- Following the 5-4 (12 inning) win over Longwood on Monday, ETSU has now won its last eight extra-inning games dating back to last season.
-- This weekend marks the fourth Pac-12 foe the Buccaneers will face in program history as the Blue and Gold have played Washington State (2006), Oregon (2010), and Arizona (2012). ETSU has never faced Cal or Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but the Bucs have beaten Auburn in one of their five previous meetings.
-- The Blue and Gold are looking to beat a BCS team for the seventh straight season – ETSU beat Penn State (Big Ten) and Seton Hall (BIG EAST) in 2013, Indiana (Big Ten) and Tennessee (SEC) in 2012, NC State (ACC) and Georgia Tech (ACC) in 2011, Kansas State (Big 12) and St. John’s (Big East) in 2010, Virginia Tech (ACC) and Tennessee (SEC) in 2009, and Tennessee (SEC) in 2008.
-- Six of ETSU’s eight relief pitchers have yet to allow an earned run out of the bullpen … In 16.1 innings, the Buccaneer bullpen have allowed two earned runs (1.10 ERA), while also striking out 13 and issuing zero walks … The Blue and Gold relievers went 12.1 innings without allowing an earned run until having the streak snapped in Monday’s 5-3 loss to Furman … In Monday’s 12-inning win over Longwood, the ETSU relievers tossed seven scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
-- Through the first five days of the season, Atlantic Sun teams have defeated two SEC foes and a Big 12 opponent – Jacksonville defeated then-No. 19 TCU, 2-0; USC Upstate took down then-No. 25 Kentucky, 8-6; and Kennesaw State handed Georgia a 10-7 setback.
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