JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 20, 2014) – After playing 20 non-conference games to begin season, the ETSU baseball team opens Atlantic Sun Conference play this weekend when the Bucs host Stetson beginning Friday evening at Thomas Stadium.
Saturday is “Youth Day” at Thomas Stadium, so children 12 and under get in for free.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday – 4:05 p.m. – Game No. 21
RHP Austin Hutchison (1-1, 2.95) vs. LHP Austin Perez (0-3, 4.23)
Saturday – 2:05 p.m. – Game No. 22
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (2-1, 3.58) vs. vs. RHP Josh Powers (1-3, 5.66)
Sunday – 1:05 p.m. – Game No. 23
LHP Jamin McCann (2-1, 3.21) vs. RHP Taylor Cockrell (2-2, 4.06)
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (9-11) snapped Western Carolina’s 21-game home win streak after powering its way past the Catamounts, 12-9, Wednesday night at Hennon Stadium. The win streak was the longest in the nation.
The Bucs belted three home runs and tied a season high with 14 hits, while the 12 runs scored were the most by ETSU this season.
Seniors Matt Sorrow (Griffin, Ga.), Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) all hit home runs, while it was sophomore Jeremy Taylor’s (Fayetteville, Ga.) 2-RBI triple in the seventh that eventually plated the game-winning runs for the Blue and Gold. Sorrow and Roach, who hit their first home runs in an ETSU uniform Wednesday night, hit solo shots in the third, and Freeman’s two-run blast put the Bucs ahead, 8-2, in the fourth. Overall, Freeman went 4 for 6 with two RBI and also recorded a six-out save, while Sorrow was 3 for 4 with three runs and three RBI. Taylor extended his streak of reaching base safely to 10 straight games after going 2 for 6 with three runs scored.
The three home runs hit by the Bucs were the most since hitting four against USC Upstate back on April 15, 2012.
Along with snapping the Catamounts’ 21-game home win streak, the Blue and Gold also snapped an eight-game skid to Western Carolina, while also breaking a seven-game losing streak in Cullowhee. The last time ETSU defeated the Catamounts, prior to last night, was back on May 16, 2006, and it was the Bucs’ first win at Western Carolina since April 9, 2005.
Stetson has won five of its last eight and enter weekend play at 7-14.
Reigning A-Sun Freshman of the Year and Baseball America Freshman All-American Patrick Mazeika leads the team in batting average (.333) and hits (24), while junior two-way player Josh Powers is hitting .328 (20-61).
As a team, the Hatters are hitting .238 (164-689) and have recorded only one home run in 689 at-bats – sophomore infielder Kevin Fagan with the lone round tripper for Stetson. Stetson is 12-for-14 in stolen base opportunities, but opponents are 31-for-41.
The Hatters are making just their second trip outside the state of Florida this season as Stetson dropped two games at then-No. 3 South Carolina on March 4-5. All seven of Stetson’s wins have come at home, while the Hatters are 0-4 in road games.
The Hatters lead the all-time series, 18-10, but the Bucs won the last meeting – a 4-3 (11-inning) walk-off win over Stetson in the first game of the A-Sun Tournament.
Overall, Stetson has won eight of the last 11 in the series.
Last season, the series was tightly contested as the Hatters outscored the Bucs, 14-10, but the Blue and Gold outhit Stetson, .270-.244. Jeremy Taylor was 7 for 17 (.412) in four games against the Hatters. On the mound, Clinton Freeman was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA (1 ER/6.0 IP) in two relief appearances last season.
Stetson swept ETSU in its last visit to Thomas Stadium back in 2012, while the Bucs swept the Hatters in Johnson City back in 2010 when the Blue and Gold outscored Stetson, 44-15.
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 audio will be available for the games on Saturday and Sunday 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
The Bucs gear up for a pair of midweek games as ETSU hosts Western Carolina Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Thomas Stadium, while the Blue and Gold travel to Appalachian State Wednesday at 4 p.m.
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.