JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 14, 2014) – The ETSU baseball team wraps up regular season play this weekend when the Bucs host Mercer in a three-game conference series starting Thursday night at Thomas Stadium.
Saturday is Senior Day as the 2014 senior class of Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.), Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.), Jared Burton (Knoxville, Tenn.), Derek Bushey (Richmond, Va.), Logan Rice (Erwin, Tenn.), Brandon Wilson (Sevierville, Tenn.), Dylan Tritsch (Boca Raton, Fla.), Matt Sorrow (Griffin, Ga.) and Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) will be recognized in a pregame ceremony.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Thursday – 7:05 p.m. – Game No. 52
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (6-5, 4.29) vs. RHP Brandon Barker (4-3, 3.28)
Friday – 7:05 p.m. – Game No. 53
LHP Jamin McCann (3-4, 5.09) vs. LHP Grant Papelian (5-2, 3.40)
Saturday – 1:05 p.m. – Game No. 54
Logan Rice (3-0, 3.51) vs. RHP Eric Nyquist (7-1, 3.33)
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (24-27) had its four-game home win streak come to an end as Appalachian State rallied for a 9-5 win over the Bucs in 10 innings, which finished early Wednesday morning at Thomas Stadium.
The Mountaineers scored six unanswered runs – including four in the top of the 10th inning – which also snapped ETSU’s extra-inning win streak. The Blue and Gold had won 10 straight games in extras, marking the Bucs’ first extra-inning loss since April 14, 2012.
Clinton Freeman recorded his Atlantic Sun-leading 11th home run of the season by belting a two-run blast in the bottom of the first, while Tyler Roach and Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) had the other RBIs for the Bucs. Roach ripped a two-out RBI single in the fifth and Phillips’ two-run scoring single extended ETSU’s lead to 5-3 in the fifth inning. Roach finished with a three-hit night, while Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) registered a two-hit game.
Appalachian State held the Blue and Gold scoreless following the three-run fifth inning and retired 15 of the final 17 ETSU hitters.
All four of the Mountaineers’ runs came with two outs in the 10th.
Mercer (37-13, 17-7) defeated Georgia State 6-5 Tuesday night in Macon, Ga.
The Bears have four players hitting above .300 as Michael Massi leads the club with a .354 (68-192) average. Chesny Young (.348), Sasha LaGarde (.319), and Derrick Workman (.301) are also hitting above the .300 mark. Massi ranks fifth in the Atlantic Sun in on-base percentage (.439), is tied for fifth in hits (68), sixth in runs scored (48), and ranks 10th in batting average, while LaGarde leads the conference in runs (51), is fourth in home runs (9) and is sixth in RBI (43). Meanwhile, Workman holds Mercer’s all-time hits record (270) and Young picked up a pair of Preseason All-American honors prior to the start of the 2014 campaign.
Mercer’s pitching staff boasts the top ERA in the league (3.06), while also leading the conference in saves (16), runs allowed (178) and walks allowed (100). Barker (3.28) and Nyquist (3.33) rank fifth and ninth in ERA, respectively, and Nyquist is also tied for second in wins (7) and ranks fourth in opposing batting average (.231). Barker’s 54 strikeouts are tied for seventh.
Mercer, the 2013 regular season champion, was tabbed to win the A-Sun and currently sit second behind Florida Gulf Coast.
Since ETSU joined the A-Sun in 2006, Mercer leads the series, 19-9, but the Bucs knocked the Bears out of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship with a 7-4, 10-inning win in DeLand, Fla.
ETSU won the series in Johnson City back in 2012, but Mercer is 8-4 all-time against the Bucs on the road.
Ten of the 28 games have been decided by two runs or less, with Mercer going 8-2 in those contests.
Clinton Freeman is 1-0 in three relief appearances against the Bears, while also not allowing an earned run in seven total innings. The southpaw has struck out six Mercer hitters. Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) has made two career starts against the Bears (6 ER/13.0 IP), while striking out 10 and walking five. At the plate, Kevin Phillips is 3-for-9 with two walks, one home run, and three RBI in three games (two starts) against Mercer. Phillips’ solo home run in the eighth inning tied the game at four in the 2013 A-Sun Tournament.
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 video will be provided free of charge on ASun.TV.
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 updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Bucs head back down to Ft. Myers for the 2014 A-Sun Championship, which is hosted by Florida Gulf Coast. The double-elimination tournament begins Wednesday, May 21 at Swanson Stadium. The tournament field is set (FGCU, Mercer, Lipscomb, Kennesaw State, ETSU, North Florida, Stetson and Jacksonville), but none of the seeds have yet to be determined.
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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For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.