JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 10, 2014) – Returning home may be what the ETSU baseball team needed to get back on track.
After dropping four of five games on their recent road swing, the Bucs bounced back in a big way as ETSU recorded a season-high 17 hits in a 12-4 comeback win over The Citadel Wednesday night at Thomas Stadium.
The Blue and Gold now look to carry their recent offensive surge into a critical Atlantic Sun series this weekend when ETSU hosts North Florida beginning Friday night at 7:05 p.m.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday – 7:05 p.m. – Game No. 33
RHP Austin Hutchison (3-2, 4.54) vs. RHP David Trexler (3-2, 3.83)
Saturday – 2:05 p.m. – Game No. 34
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (2-3, 4.36) vs. RHP Evan Incinelli (3-3, 4.80)
Sunday – 1:05 p.m. – Game No. 35
LHP Jamin McCann (2-3, 5.28) vs. TBA
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
Nine of ETSU’s (15-17, 4-5 A-Sun) 17 hits went for extra bases as the Bucs tied a school-record with four triples in their eight-run win over The Citadel on Wednesday. The previous record was set when the Blue and Gold registered four triples against Radford on March 31, 1998.
Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.), Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.), Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) all recorded a triple, while Tritsch and Roach both finished with three-hit games. Tritsch, who has reached base safely in 19 straight games and tallied his 100th hit with the Bucs on Wednesday, went 3 for 4 with a double, home run, and scored four runs, while Roach finished with a career-high three hits, drove in two and scored twice. Meanwhile, York has now hit safely in his last four games after posting a two-hit performance against The Citadel.
Junior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) also reached a milestone in Wednesday’s win as he posted his 100th career strikeout and now has 101 for his career. Nesselt was one of seven relievers used by the Blue and Gold – who managed to hold the Bulldogs scoreless for the final eight innings of play. Furthermore, Nesselt, Jared Burton (Knoxville, Tenn.), Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) combined to retire the final 15 Citadel hitters.
As a pitching staff, ETSU’s hurlers struck out four and walked none, marking the second straight game the Buccaneer pitching staff hasn’t allowed a walk. The last time ETSU went back-to-back games without issuing walk was back in 2011.
ABOUT NORTH FLORIDA
North Florida (15-18, 6-6 A-Sun) has lost six of its last seven and is coming off a 2-0 setback to Florida A&M Wednesday in Tallahassee.
The Ospreys rank among the top-3 in the A-Sun in batting average (T1st, .300), hits (2nd, 349), slugging percentage (3rd, .403), on-base percentage (3rd, .357), home runs (3rd, 21), and triples (T3rd, 7).
UNF is led by junior Drew Weeks as he’s hitting .418 (56-134) with six doubles, two triples, four home runs, 25 RBI and 28 runs scored, while sophomore two-way player Corbin Olmstead and junior infielder Trent Higginbothem are also hitting above .300. Olmstead, who is 3-4 with a 3.66 ERA on the mound, is hitting .368 (35-95) in 22 games, and Higginbothem is 42 for 126 (.333) and leads the team with 26 RBI.
Trexler and Incinelli are one of three Osprey pitchers with three wins on the campaign, while junior right-hander Dan VanSickle has three of UNF’s four saves.
Ten of UNF’s 15 wins have come at home, while the Ospreys are 3-12 on the road – all three wins coming in conference play.
After posting 40 wins (18-9 A-Sun) in 2013, the Ospreys were picked to finish second in the A-Sun preseason coaches poll.
After taking two of three of the Bucs in 2013, UNF now leads the all-time series, 13-12.
ETSU is only 4-8 against the Ospreys in Johnson City, while the Blue and Gold are looking for their first series win at home since taking two of three back in 2006. The Bucs are the only team to sweep a series as ETSU won all three in 2011 down in Jacksonville.
For his career, Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) is hitting .435 (10-23) with one double, one triple, one home run and four RBI in six games against the Ospreys, while Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) is 7 for 17 (.412) with one triple, two runs and four RBI versus UNF. Last season, Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) went 3 for 5 with three RBI against the Ospreys, while Tyler Roach also had three hits, walked once and was hit twice against UNF pitching.
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 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 video will be provided free of charge on ASun.TV for all three games.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
ETSU continues conference play next weekend as the Bucs travel to the River City for a three-game set at Jacksonville, beginning Thursday, April 17.
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For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.