JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 28, 2015) – Coming off its series win over Western Carolina last weekend, the ETSU baseball team looks to continue its winning ways when the Buccaneers conclude their four-game homestand Wednesday night against Appalachian State. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m., at Thomas Stadium.
PREVIEWING THE BUCS
ETSU (16-27) took two of three against Western Carolina last weekend at Thomas Stadium.
Junior right-hander Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) opened the series with a complete game effort as the Blue and Gold took the opener, 3-2, and after suffering a tough 4-3 setback in game two, the Blue and Gold rallied for a 10-7 series-clinching win on Sunday.
Senior Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.), who reached safely in all three games of the series, put the Bucs ahead for good with a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh on Sunday, while sophomores Connor Bartow (Jonesborough, Tenn.) and Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) held the Catamounts scoreless in the final 2.2 innings to secure the series win. Bartow earned his first collegiate win after pitching 1.1 innings of three-hit ball, while Cook struck out the four Western Carolina hitters he faced to pick up his first save as a Buccaneer.
Sanford hit .429 (3-7) with three walks and added his clutch three-run homer in the series, while freshman Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) also belted a home run in the series.
ETSU’s pitching staff went 2-1 with a 3.67 ERA (11 ER/27.0 IP) with 21 strikeouts in the series, while senior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) gave the Bucs a quality start on Saturday. Nesselt allowed three runs in a season-high 8.1 innings and struck out seven, moving his season total to a SoCon-leading 85. Nesselt is looking to become the first ETSU pitcher with 100 strikeouts in one season since Reid Casey set the single-season record with 107 in 2001. As a staff, ETSU has struck out 336 this season and need 23 strikeouts to break the single-season program record of 358 set in 1995.
Sanford has reached base safely in 16 straight games and junior Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) has accomplished the feat in 18 consecutive games. Cook carries a five-game hit streak into Wednesday’s game.
The Bucs were out-hit in both wins over the weekend, marking the fifth and sixth times this season ETSU has won when being out-hit by the opposition, while the 10 runs scored in Sunday’s comeback win were the most runs scored since plating 17 in its come-from-behind win at Morehead State on March 17.
PREVIEWING APPALACHIAN STATE
Appalachian State dropped two of three over the weekend at Arkansas State and sit at 13-31 on the season. The Mountaineers play at Virginia Tech on Tuesday night.
Michael Pierson leads the Mountaineers offensively as the senior infielder/outfielder is hitting .338 (53-157) with eight doubles, one triple, six home runs, 33 runs and 35 RBI, while Dillon Dobson has belted eight of Appalachian State’s 30 home runs.
Opponents have stolen 65 bases (78 attempts) on the Mountaineers, while Appalachian State is 26 for 39 in stolen bases. Brandon Burris and Jaylin Davis are both 5 for 6 in that department.
The Mountaineers are 5-17 on the road, but have won three of their last five midweek games.
Appalachian State leads the all-time series, 75-55, and swept the Buccaneers last season. The Mountaineers won a walk-off single by Matt Brill to cap off a 7-6 win in Boone, while Appalachian State rallied for a 9-5 10-inning win at Thomas Stadium.
Prior to last season’s sweep, ETSU had won eight of the last 12 against its former SoCon rival.
Cook went 4 for 9 with one double and scored two runs in last season’s series, while Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) is hitting .400 (6-15) with two doubles, three runs, three walks and three RBI in four games against the Mountaineers. Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) is 0 for 7 with three walks and one RBI in three games versus Appalachian State.
Junior right-hander Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) will get the start for the Bucs, while the Mountaineers have yet to announce their starter.
Haeberle is 3-6 with a 7.50 ERA (45 ER/54.0 IP) in 14 appearances (10 starts) this season and is making his first start since April 17 versus Samford.
Wednesday’s game will be video streamed for free on the SoCon Digital Network (weather permitting), along with being 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 head to Greenville, S.C., for a three-game SoCon series at Furman on Friday night.
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For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.