JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 24, 2014) – Coming off a series win over Stetson in its Atlantic Sun opener, the ETSU baseball team gears up for a pair of non-conference midweek games, beginning Tuesday evening when the Bucs host Western Carolina at Thomas Stadium.
First pitch on Tuesday has been changed to 5:05 p.m.
On Wednesday, the Bucs head over the mountain take Appalachian State at 4 p.m. at Smith Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (11-12) took two of three from Stetson in the opening weekend of conference play at Thomas Stadium.
The Bucs opened the series with a 7-4 win over the Hatters on 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 is 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 hitters and walked five.
ABOUT WESTERN CAROLINA
Western Carolina (13-9) opened Southern Conference play by taking two of three at Elon over the weekend.
The Catamounts dropped the opener, 5-1, on Friday night, but won 6-5 on Saturday and took the rubber match with a 9-7 win on Sunday.
As a team, Western Carolina ranks 13th nationally in home runs (19), 25th in batting average (.303) and 43rd in hits (237), while senior infielder Aaron Attaway is the active national career leader in runs scored (165) and tied for second in hits (255).
The Catamounts are the reigning Southern Conference regular season champions and were picked to defend their title in 2014.
The Bucs will start sophomore right-hander Kameron Miller (Crestview, Fla.). Miller is making his first start in 2014, but has made eight relief appearances for ETSU.
Western Carolina has yet to name a starter.
Western Carolina leads the all-time series, 62-29, but the Bucs defeated the Catamounts, 12-9, last week in Cullowhee.
The three-run victory snapped the Catamounts’ 21-game home winning streak, which was the longest in the nation, while it also marked ETSU’s first win against Western Carolina since May 16, 2006 – ending an eight-game losing skid. Furthermore, the win also snapped a seven-game losing streak in Cullowhee.
Matt Sorrow (Griffin, Ga.) and Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.) both belted solo home runs at Western Carolina, while Freeman went 4 for 6 with a two-run home run and four RBI. Sorrow also had three hits and drove in three runs.
The 12 runs scored by the Bucs marked a season high, while ETSU tied a season high with 14 hits.
ABOUT APPALACHIAN STATE
The Mountaineers have dropped five of their last seven and sit 6-16 on the campaign.
Appalachian State lost two of three at Georgia Southern over the weekend, and play at High Point on Tuesday.
Freshman two-way player Matt Brill leads the team with a .344 average (11-32), while sophomore infielder/outfielder Dillon Dobson leads the team in hits (23), home runs (3), RBI (12), and runs scored (13).
Three of Appalachian State’s six wins have come at home.
Sophomore left-hander Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) gets the start for the Blue and Gold, while the Mountaineers haven’t named their starter.
Jacques is 1-3 with a 6.14 ERA (10 ER/14.2 IP) in seven appearances (three starts) this season for ETSU.
Appalachian State leads the all-time series, 72-55, but the Bucs have won eight of the last 11 versus the Mountaineers.
The clubs split the season series last year as the Mountaineers won a suspended game, 3-1, before ETSU evened the series with a 7-6 win in Boone.
Phillips was 4 for 7 (.571) with one double and three runs scored against Appalachian State last season. Senior left-hander Jared Burton (Knoxville, Tenn.) did not allow an earned run in two appearances (3.0 IP) against the Mountaineers and earned the win.
Freeman is 6 for 13 (.462) with three doubles, three runs, and three RBI in three games against Appalachian State.
Live audio will be available for the games on Tuesday and Wednesday 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.
Free live video will be offered for Tuesday’s game on ASun.TV.
Live stats for the two games can be accessed via StatBroadcast by visiting ETSUBucs.com. Fans can access live stats on their computers, mobile devices or tablets.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
ETSU returns to conference play this weekend when the Bucs host Northern Kentucky Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Thomas 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.
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