JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 27, 2014) – After Mother Nature wiped out a pair of midweek games, the ETSU baseball team returns to the diamond this weekend when the Bucs host Northern Kentucky in a three-game series beginning Friday night at Thomas Stadium.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday – 7:05 p.m. – Game No. 24
RHP Austin Hutchison (2-1, 2.97) vs. LHP Cody Cooper (0-5, 8.16)
Saturday – 2:05 p.m. – Game No. 25
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (2-2, 4.02) vs. vs. RHP Wendell Wright (1-1, 6.14)
Sunday – 1:05 p.m. – Game No. 26
LHP Jamin McCann (2-1, 3.32) vs. RHP Adam Jafine (0-4, 9.00)
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
The Bucs, who had a pair of midweek games cancelled due to inclement weather, look to build on their strong conference start as ETSU carries an 11-12, 2-1 A-Sun record into this weekend’s series.
ETSU began conference play by taking two of three from Stetson last weekend at Thomas Stadium.
The Bucs opened the series with a 7-4 win over the Hatters last Friday, as freshman Austin Hutchison (Jefferson County, Tenn.) tossed a complete game and Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) drove in the game-winning runs with a two-run scoring single in the sixth inning. On Saturday, Stetson rallied to a 5-3 win in the first game of the doubleheader, but Dylan Tritsch’s (Boca Raton, Fla.) two-RBI single in the seventh inning put ETSU ahead for good, 4-3. Senior left-hander Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) recorded his second six-out save of the week to secure the victory.
For the weekend, Phillips went 5 for 8 (.625) with one double, one home run and four RBI, while Freeman and Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) both hit .417 (5-12). On Friday, Freeman registered his 200th career hit, while Riopedre notched his 100th career hit in the three-run victory.
For his career, Freeman has 203 hits, which ranks 33rd among active NCAA leaders, while his 134 RBIs are tied for 13th.
As a team, the Bucs hit .274 for the series and held the Hatters to a .238 clip, while ETSU pitchers struck out 18 and walked five.
ABOUT NORTHERN KENTUCKY
The Norse are coming off a midweek win over Morehead State on Wednesday and sit 6-16, 1-2 on the campaign.
Offensively, NKU has three players hitting over .300, but as a team the Norse are being outhit .350 to .267. NKU is led by freshman infielder Kyle Colletta and sophomore catcher Logan Spurlin as they are both hitting .329, while senior outfielder Zac Asman has a .316 batting average. Red-shirt sophomore catcher Cody Kuzniczci leads the team with 26 hits and junior catcher Jordan Procyshen has belted four of the Norse’s 12 home runs.
NKU’s pitching staff has registered an 8.84 team ERA (185 ER/188.1 IP), while freshman right-hander Jake Shaw leads the team in saves (3) and wins (2).
The Bucs swept last year’s series and lead the all-time meeting, 4-1.
Last season, ETSU opened the series with a 5-2 win behind a complete game by Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), while the Bucs scored 11 unanswered runs to rally from an 8-run deficit to win game two of the series, 12-9. The Blue and Gold capped off the sweep by taking the series finale 13-4.
For the series, Dylan Tritsch went 7 for 16 (.438) with four runs scored, while Clinton Freeman drove in a career-high six runs in the game two comeback. Logan Rice (Erwin, Tenn.) allowed one unearned run in six innings as he picked up the win in the finale and Kevin Phillips drove in five of the 13 runs in the nine-run victory to complete the sweep.
Live stats will be available for this weekend’s series via StatBroadcast by visiting ETSUBucs.com. Fans can access live stats on their computers, mobile devices or tablets.
Live video will be provided free of charge on ASun.TV.
Live audio will be available for all three games on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster with “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos handling the play-by-play. Fans outside the Tri-Cities region can access WXSM online at http://www.640wxsm.com/ or you can listen to the games via your mobile device(s) by downloading the iHeart Radio application.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
ETSU heads to Tennessee on Tuesday, April 1 for a 6 p.m. first pitch at Lindsey Nelson Stadium, while the Bucs then make the trip to Boone, N.C. on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. start at Appalachian State at Smith Stadium.
Single-game tickets to ETSU baseball games are $10 for reserved seats behind home plate and $5 for reserved seats along the baselines.
Single-game tickets are $2 for groups of 10 or more people. Please call (423) 439-4828 for details.
Tickets can be purchased at the stadium, online at ETSUBucs.com, or by calling (423) 439-3878.
Come out to Thomas Stadium early and tailgate prior to ETSU baseball games this season. A designated tailgating area will be roped off in the parking lot where fans can enjoy a festive environment before the Bucs take the field.
Click here for tailgating guidelines.
ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!
For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.