JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (April 16, 2014) – Coming off a perfect 4-0 homestand, the ETSU baseball team now looks to carry its winning ways on the road as the Bucs open a three-game conference set Thursday night at Jacksonville’s John Sessions Stadium.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Thursday – 6:30 p.m. – Game No. 36
RHP Austin Hutchison (3-2, 4.53) vs. RHP Alex McRae (2-6, 7.69)
Friday – 6:30 p.m. – Game No. 37
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (3-3, 4.50) vs. LHP Josh Baker (3-2, 4.01)
Saturday – 2 p.m. – Game No. 38
LHP Jamin McCann (3-3, 4.50) vs. RHP Justin Russell (4-2, 4.22)
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (18-17, 7-5 A-Sun) enjoyed a 4-0 homestand as the Bucs defeated The Citadel and swept North Florida over the weekend at Thomas Stadium.
For the homestand, the Blue and Gold hit .336 (46-137) with 10 doubles, eight triples, three home runs and outscored the opposition, 36-18. ETSU’s pitchers combined for a 3.50 ERA (14 ER/36.0 IP), while striking out 20 and walking four.
Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.), Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.), Gage Downey (Franklin, Tenn.), and Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) all look to extend their hitting streaks this weekend. Freeman, Riopedre, Cook, and Downey all hit safely in the four home games last week, while Taylor brings a five-game hit streak into Thursday’s contest.
Downey hit .500 (5-10) with two doubles, one triple, three runs, and three RBI, and Freeman went 7 for 16 (.438) with one double, one triple, one home run, four runs and five RBI. The Jonesborough, Tenn. native also earned the win in Friday’s 6-5 walk-off – courtesy of Cook’s game-winning RBI single – and picked up the save in Saturday’s 8-5 victory.
Freshman left-hander Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) tossed a career-high seven innings and allowed one run on seven hits to earn the win in Sunday’s 10-4 decision. Last week, senior left-hander Jared Burton (Knoxville, Tenn.) made two scoreless appearances (3.2 total innings) and struck out four.
The Dolphins (12-24, 6-9 A-Sun) have won two of their last three A-Sun series, but most recently dropped two of three to Florida Gulf Coast last weekend.
Individually, Jacksonville is led by senior infielder Scott Schaub as he’s hitting .412 (42-102) with 11 runs scored and 24 RBI. Schaub is also one of three Dolphin players who are a perfect 6-of-6 in stolen bases. Sophomore infielder/sophomore Connor Marabell, who is also 6-for-6 in stolen bases, is hitting .358 (38-106) with six doubles, one triple, one home run and 19 RBI.
As a team, Jacksonville plays a lot of small ball as the Dolphins rank second in the A-Sun in stolen bases (48) and sacrifice hits (41).
Eight of the Dolphins’ 12 wins have come at home, while Jacksonville was picked to finish ninth in the A-Sun preseason coaches poll.
Jacksonville leads the all-time series, 14-11, but the Bucs swept the season series a year ago.
Twelve of the 25 games in the series have been decided by two runs or less, with ETSU going 7-5 in those contests. The Bucs won a pair of 3-2 game last season before finishing the sweep with an 11-4 win in the finale.
Riopedre is hitting .316 (6-19) with one double, one triple, three runs and three RBI in six games against the Dolphins, while Freeman is 1-0 with a save in four appearances. Freeman has totaled a 1.86 ERA (2 ER/9.2 IP) in those outings versus Jacksonville. Last season, Taylor hit .385 (5-13), while junior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) allowed two unearned runs in seven innings of work en route to earning a no-decision.
Overall, the teams have split the last six series and the Bucs are 7-5 in games played in Jacksonville.
All three games will be video streamed for free on ASun.TV.
Live stats will be provided by visiting JUDolphins.com.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
ETSU returns home for a pair of midweek games as the Bucs host Tennessee Tuesday and Radford on Wednesday. Game times are set for 7:05 p.m. at Thomas Stadium.
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