JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 16, 2015) – The ETSU baseball team welcomes Samford for a three-game conference series, beginning Friday night at Thomas Stadium.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday – 6:05 p.m. – Game No. 36
RHP Lee Haeberle (3-5, 6.27) vs. RHP Alex Ledford (4-3, 3.43)
Saturday – 2:05 p.m. – Game No. 37
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (4-4, 4.63) vs. RHP Jared Brasher (2-2, 7.12)
Sunday – 1:05 p.m. – Game No. 38
RHP Griffin Krieg (1-4, 7.74) vs. RHP Parker Curry (5-3, 4.96)
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (14-21, 3-6 SoCon) suffered a heart-breaking 6-5 setback to Virginia Tech on Wednesday night at Thomas Stadium.
Despite taking a one-run lead into the top of the ninth inning, the Bucs couldn’t hold on as Alex Perez ripped a two-out, two-run scoring triple to the right-center gap to plate the game-winning runs. In total, Perez drove in all six runs for the Hokies in the comeback win.
Sophomore Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) extended his streak of reaching base safely to 19 straight games after going 1 for 5, while senior Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) has now hit safely in seven consecutive contests. Thompson went 1 for 2 with one double, one walk, scored a run and drove in the tying run with a squeeze bunt in the sixth inning. Junior Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached three times – two walks and a hit – and has reached safely in 13 straight games.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) allowed three unearned runs on two hits in 4.2 innings in the start, but the Buccaneer defense committed four errors on the night. Senior Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) suffered the loss (4-4) as he allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of work out of the bullpen.
The Bucs squandered scoring chances as ETSU left nine runners stranded and finished 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
Samford (18-17, 6-3 SoCon) has won four straight and eight of its last 11 games as the Bulldogs swept Murray State last weekend and picked up a 13-2 midweek victory versus Troy.
The Bulldogs, who have scored double-digit runs in all four games during this run, are outscoring their opponents, 54-13, in this stretch.
As a team, Samford leads the SoCon in home runs (46) and slugging percentage (.461), ranks second in runs scored (243) and RBI (225), and is third in hits (357) and on-base percentage (.372).
Individually, the Bulldogs are led by freshman first baseman Austin Edens as he’s hitting a team-best .364 (43-118) with nine doubles, six home runs, 22 runs and 27 RBI, while sophomore infielder Hunter Swilling leads the club in hits (46), triples (3), home runs (10), runs (33) and RBI (41). Swilling is tied with Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) for the SoCon lead in RBI and is also tied for the league-lead in home runs.
Friday night starter Alex Ledford ranks third in the SoCon in innings (57.2), fifth in strikeouts (52), sixth in ERA (3.43) and seventh in opposing batting average (.248), while closer Andrew Gracia has six of the Bulldogs’ seven saves and has struck out 24 hitters in 17.2 innings.
Samford has scored 10 or more runs 11 times this season and has held its opponents to two runs or less five times.
The Bucs and Bulldogs have met one prior time as ETSU defeated Samford, 11-6, on March 9, 2005 at Cardinal Park.
Stephen Douglas and Blake Church combined to go 6 for 10 with two doubles, one triple, three runs and two RBI, while Caleb Moore belted a two-run home run in a five-run second inning. ETSU’s bullpen allowed one unearned run in the final 7.1 innings to secure the win.
All three games this weekend will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network (weather permitting), while “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos will have the radio call on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster 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 five-game homestand Tuesday night when the Bucs host Tennessee 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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