RICHMOND, Ky. and CULLOWHEE, N.C. (March 17, 2014) – Prior to opening conference play this weekend, the ETSU baseball team hits the road for a pair of midweek games beginning Tuesday afternoon when the Bucs play at Eastern Kentucky. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Turkey Hughes Field.
Following its game with the Colonels, ETSU makes the trek to Cullowhee, N.C. to face Western Carolina on Wednesday. Game time against the Catamounts is slated for 5 p.m. at Hennon Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (8-10) is looking to build on its 5-4 12-inning win over Bryant on Saturday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
Senior Logan Rice (Erwin, Tenn.) tossed five scoreless innings out of the bullpen to earn the win (2-0), while junior Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.) recorded the game-winning hit with a bunt single in the 12th to cap off the comeback.
Sophomore left-hander Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) was solid out of the pen as he tossed 1.1 innings of scoreless ball before turning things over to Rice.
The win marked the 10th straight extra-inning victory for the Blue and Gold, which dates back to last season, while the Bucs scored five unanswered runs to defeat the reigning Northeast Conference champions.
As a team, ETSU was 4 of 6 with runners in scoring position, while the Bulldogs went 2 for 16 on Saturday.
For the series, Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) went 3 for 8 with two RBI and two runs, while Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) was 3 of 10 with one double, one RBI and a run scored.
ABOUT EASTERN KENTUCKY
Eastern Kentucky (7-12) saw its three-game win streak snapped as the Colonels were swept at home by Southeast Missouri State over the weekend.
The Colonels are led by sophomore outfielder Kyle Nowlin and senior catcher Sean Hagen. Nowlin, a 2013 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and OVC Rookie of the Year, leads EKU in batting average (.347), hits (25), doubles (6), home runs (5) and runs (20), while Hagen is hitting .328 (21-64) with three doubles, four home runs and a team-leading 19 RBI.
As a team, the Colonels rank second in the OVC with 15 home runs, while Nowlin is tied for fourth with five homers.
EKU has lost three of its first four home games this season.
Jacques will get the start for the Bucs, while the Colonels are sending freshman right-hander Brian Mroz to the hill.
Jacques is making his third start of the year and is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA (6 ER/9.0 IP) in five total appearances on the season. Mroz is making his first collegiate start and is 1-0 with a 9.53 ERA (6 ER/5.2 IP) in five appearances.
The Bucs are looking to win the season series as ETSU defeated EKU, 4-3, two weeks ago at Thomas Stadium.
Freshman Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) earned the win after pitching five scoreless innings and striking out six EKU hitters. Sophomore Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) belted his first collegiate home run and went 2 for 3, while Dylan Tritsch’s (Boca Raton, Fla.) RBI single in the seventh drove in the winning run.
The Colonels lead the all-time series, 51-34-1.
ABOUT WESTERN CAROLINA
Western Carolina (11-7) is coming off a three-game sweep over Rider where the Catamounts outscored the Broncs, 40-16.
As a team, the Catamounts are hitting .308, which ranks third in the SoCon, and are led by senior catcher Adam Martin. Martin, an all-conference catcher, is hitting .377 (23-61) with four doubles, one triple, five home runs and 27 RBI, while Bradley Strong (.346), Dykota Spiess (.329), and Jacob Hoyle (.308) are also hitting over .300 for Western Carolina.
Western Carolina has outscored its opponents, 142-94, and are 20 for 29 in stolen base opportunities.
The Catamounts are a perfect 8-0 at home in 2014.
Western Carolina won the 2013 Southern Conference regular season championship and was picked to defend its title in 2014.
Jamin McCann will go to the hill for the Blue and Gold, while Catamounts have yet to name their starting pitcher.
McCann is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA (4 ER/12.0 IP) in four appearances (two starts) for the Bucs in his freshman season.
Western Carolina leads the all-time series 62-28.
The Catamounts have won the last eight games in the series as ETSU’s last win was back on May 16, 2006 in Johnson City.
The Bucs, who have also lost seven straight in Cullowhee, last defeated Western Carolina on its home turf on April 9, 2005 when ETSU won, 4-3.
Live stats will be available for both games this week.
EKU will provide live stats by visiting EKUSports.com or by clicking the link above, while live stats for the Western Carolina game will be available via StatBroadcast by visiting ETSUBucs.com.
Live video will also be offered for Wednesday’s game by visiting CatamountSports.com or by clicking the link above.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Bucs open conference play this weekend as ETSU hosts Stetson in a three-game series, starting Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Thomas Stadium.
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