JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 26, 2015) – Coming off a rough six-game road swing, the ETSU baseball team returns home to host UNCG in a three-game Southern Conference series beginning Friday night at Thomas Stadium.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday – 6:05 p.m. – Game No. 24
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (3-1, 2.31) vs. RHP Ryan Clark (4-1, 2.72)
Saturday – 2:05 p.m. – Game No. 25
RHP Lee Haeberle (2-3, 6.54) vs. RHP Brennen James (0-4, 5.47)
Sunday – 1:05 p.m. – Game No. 26
RHP Griffin Krieg (1-2, 7.96) vs. RHP Michael Bates (0-1, 5.74)
PREVIEWING THE BUCS
ETSU (11-12, 0-3 SoCon) is coming off a road swing where the Bucs dropped five of their six games – most recently falling 7-4 at Radford in 10 innings on Tuesday and following that up with an 8-3 setback at Virginia Tech on Wednesday night.
The Bucs have been led by sophomore Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) as he’s hitting .431 (22-51) with five doubles, one home run, 14 runs and 11 RBI over his last 13 games, while junior Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) has reached safely in his last 17 games.
Cook and Daniel Tucker (Hendersonville, Tenn.) have hit safely in their last seven games. Cook is 15 for 30 (.500) with 11 runs scored during this stretch and Tucker is hitting .462 (12-26) with two doubles and five runs in his last seven.
Senior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) is 7-0 with a 3.10 ERA (17 ER/49.1 IP) with 52 strikeouts in his last eight starts at Thomas Stadium. This season, Nesselt ranks second in the SoCon in ERA (2.31), innings pitched (39.0) and strikeouts (50).
As a team, ETSU ranks near the top of the SoCon in triples (11, 1st), batting average (.301, 2nd), slugging percentage (.456, 2nd), RBI (139, 3rd) and doubles (52, 3rd).
Despite dropping five straight, ETSU has won its last three at Thomas Stadium.
UNCG (10-12, 2-1 SoCon) has won five of its last eight and the Spartans are coming off a 10-0 win over North Carolina A&T on Tuesday.
The Spartans are led offensively by Zac MacAneney as he leads the team in average (.387), hits (29), and runs (19), while Aaron Wright posts a team-leading seven doubles and four home runs.
MacAneney was named first team all-conference in the preseason voting, while Friday night starter Ryan Clark was named Preseason Pitcher of the Year. Clark is tied for third in the SoCon in wins (4), ranks sixth in opposing batting average (.217), and seventh in ERA (2.72) and strikeouts (30).
The Spartans have only played two games outside the state of North Carolina and dropped both contests. UNCG lost to Charlotte 2-1 and NC State 4-2 in Savannah, Ga.
UNCG has scored six or more runs 14 times this season and the Spartans are 10-4 in those games.
UNCG leads the all-time series, 19-11, and this marks the first meeting between the two programs since March 25-27, 2005 when ETSU took two of three from the Spartans in Greensboro.
ETSU is 4-5 against UNCG in games played in Johnson City, while the teams have met in the SoCon Tournament four times.
All three games this weekend will be broadcast on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster as “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos will have the call starting with the Atmos Energy Dugout Show, which begins 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
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 updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
ETSU wraps up its brief four-game homestand Tuesday night when the Bucs host Morehead State at 6:05 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.
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For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.