JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 6, 2015) – The ETSU baseball team returns home to host UNC Asheville in midweek action Tuesday night at Thomas Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
PREVIEWING THE BUCS
ETSU (12-18), who has dropped 11 of its last 12, is coming off a rough weekend where the Bucs were swept by reigning Atlantic 10 champion Saint Louis. The Bucs were outscored, 35-15, and out-hit, 44-23, over the weekend in St. Louis.
The trio of Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.), Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.) and Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) combined for 13 hits, seven runs and seven RBI. Thompson hit .444 (4-9) with two doubles, two runs and three RBI, Sanford was 4 for 10 with three runs and an RBI, and Cook hit .385 (5-13) with two runs and three RBI.
ETSU’s weekend starting pitchers – Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.), Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) – combined for a 17.18 ERA (21 ER/11.0 IP), while five Buccaneer hurlers didn’t allow an earned run in their relief appearances. Freshman Kain Hewitt (Gainesville, Ga.) tossed 3.1 scoreless innings on Thurday, and Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) and Connor Bartow (Jonesborough, Tenn.) combined for 2.1 scoreless frames on Saturday.
ETSU national ranks 22nd nationally in triples (12), 24th in slugging percentage (.449) and 30th in batting average (.299). Individually, Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) ranks fifth in slugging percentage (.780) and triples (5), 11th in total bases (85), 13th in RBI (36), and 14th in batting average (.413). Meanwhile, Cook ranks eighth in batting average (.425), 10th in hits (51), and 18th in runs (36), while York and Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) are tied for 40th in home runs (7).
PREVIEWING UNC ASHEVILLE
Like the Buccaneers, UNC Asheville was also swept in non-conference play over the weekend as the Bulldogs dropped three at UNC Wilmington. Two of the three games in Wilmington were decided by one run (4-3 and 3-2), while the Bulldogs suffered a 17-5 setback in the opener.
Prior to last weekend’s sweep, UNCA had won three straight and five of its last six.
Four Bulldog batters are hitting over .300 with Joe Zayatz (.327), Joe Tietjen (.315), Hunter Bryant (.303) and Tommy Houmard (.300) making up that group. Tietjen and Bryant have combined for eight of UNCA’s 14 home runs as Bryant leads the club with five and has driven in a team-best 24 runs.
Zayatz is a two-way player as he has also made eight starts on the mound this season.
On the mound, Nick Schavone is 2-1 with six saves and a 2.55 ERA (5 ER/17.2 IP) in 15 appearances. Shavone is also limiting opponents to a .197 batting average.
The Bulldogs are 5-5 in 10 road games this season.
Freshman right-hander Logan Gentry (Kingsport, Tenn.) will be making his first collegiate start for the Bucs, while UNCA counters with sophomore left-hander Spencer Orr. The Bulldog southpaw is 3-0 with a 4.91 ERA (12 ER/22.0 IP) in seven appearances (three starts).
Gentry has a 7.00 ERA (7 ER/9.0 IP) in eight appearances this season. The Kingsport, Tenn. native has 11 strikeouts and two walks.
Orr picked up the winning decision in his last start as he held Tennessee Tech to one run on four hits, while walking three and striking out two in five innings of work on March 31 in Cookeville, Tenn.
ETSU has dropped its last three games to UNCA, but the Bucs still lead the all-time series, 30-23.
Despite the three straight setbacks, the Blue and Gold have still won 16 of their last 21 over the Bulldogs.
ETSU dropped a 3-2 heartbreaker to the Bulldogs in February at the Upstate Classic in Spartanburg, S.C. Jimmy Nesselt struck out then a career-high 10 hitters but picked up a no-decision as UNCA scored the game-winning run on a fielder’s choice RBI in the eighth inning.
A few weeks later, the Bulldogs scored five runs in the first two innings and defeated the Bucs, 8-6, at Greenwood Field in Asheville. The Bucs surrendered three runs in the first and two more in the second, and ETSU could never get over the hump. That two-run set back started ETSU’s tailspin as the Bucs were 7-2 prior to the loss and the Blue and Gold have lost 16 of their last 21 since the strong open.
Trey York is 4 for 7 (.571) with one triple, two runs and two RBI in the two games against UNCA this season, while Sanford and Cook are both hitting .375. Sophomore left-hander Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) has allowed one unearned run in four innings of relief against the Bulldogs this year.
Tuesday’s game will be video streamed on the SoCon Digital Network, while it will also 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 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 as the Bucs open a three-game weekend series at VMI starting Friday night.
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.