KENNESAW, Ga. (April 24, 2014) – After splitting its brief two-game home stint, the ETSU baseball team now embarks on a four-game road swing beginning this weekend with a three-game conference series at Kennesaw State’s Stillwell Stadium.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday – 6 p.m. – Game No. 40
RHP Austin Hutchison (3-3, 4.82) vs. RHP Jordan Hillyer (4-3, 3.34)
Saturday – 2 p.m. – Game No. 41
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (5-3, 4.43) vs. LHP Travis Bergen (5-4, 2.97)
Sunday – 1 p.m. – Game No. 42
LHP Jamin McCann (3-3, 4.26) vs. TBA
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (20-19, 8-6 A-Sun) opened its short two-game home stand with a 9-7 win over Tennessee in front of a record-setting crowd (1,811) Tuesday night at Thomas Stadium; however, the Blue and Gold had their five-game home winning streak snapped as Radford edged ETSU, 7-6, on Wednesday.
Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) belted his Atlantic Sun-leading 10th home run and pitched the final two innings to earn his ninth save of the season against the Vols. Furthermore, Freeman registered his 19th career save, which ties him with Bo Reeder (2009-11) for the most in school history.
Fellow senior Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.) also homered in Tuesday night’s win and tied a career-high with three hits, while junior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) got the start and earned his third straight win. Nesselt struck out one and held Tennessee scoreless in one inning of work.
As a team, the Bucs have posted at least 10 hits in six of their last eight games, including a run of five consecutive games, marking the first time ETSU has accomplished the feat since April 27-May 4, 2013. Overall, the Blue and Gold have won six of their last eight during this run.
Sophomore Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) extended his hit streak to nine straight in Wednesday’s setback against Highlanders, tying him with Freeman for the longest streak this season. Likewise, Freeman has hit safely in eight consecutive outings, while teammates Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) have also recorded a hit in their last eight contests. Cook blasted his first collegiate home run with a leadoff homer in the third inning against Radford, while Riopedre ripped his first triple of the year two plays later.
ABOUT KENNESAW STATE
Kennesaw State (22-20, 8-9 A-Sun) has won eight straight and sits behind ETSU in fifth-place in the conference standings.
The Owls are coming off a 3-1 win over Georgia on Tuesday night.
As a team, Kennesaw State’s pitching staff leads the A-Sun in shutouts (4) and strikeouts per nine innings (7.8), while the Owls’ hitters rank second in the league with 431 hits and are third with 47 stolen bases.
Individually, the Owls are led by junior catcher Max Pentecost as the Baseball America Preseason All-American selection ranks fourth nationally in hits (69), 15th in doubles (16), and 29th in batting average (.392). On the mound, junior right-hander Justin McCalvin was recently named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch list as he is 2-3 with a 1.28 ERA (6 ER/42.1 IP) and has eight saves. McCalvin ranks second behind Freeman for saves in the A-Sun, while the Kennesaw State hurler is second nationally in WHIP (0.73).
Kennesaw State leads the all-time series, 13-12, but the Bucs won three of the four games last season, including a 7-2 win in the A-Sun Tournament final.
Ten of the 25 games in the series have been decided by one run – with the teams splitting those games.
The Bucs are looking for their first series win at Kennesaw State since taking two of three from the Owls in 2006. Overall, ETSU has dropped eight of 12 to the Owls in Kennesaw.
In nine career games against Kennesaw State, Clinton Freeman is hitting .441 (15-34) with one double, two home runs and 12 RBI, while Jeremy Taylor hit .353 (6-17) with two doubles, five runs and five RBI versus the Owls last year.
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 for all three games can be accessed by visiting KSUOwls.com.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Bucs wrap up their four-game road swing Wednesday night when ETSU travels to Radford for a midweek game. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.
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.