GREENVILLE, S.C. (April 30, 2015) – With only three conference series remaining, the ETSU baseball team looks to carry its positive momentum into the stretch run of Southern Conference play when the Buccaneers open a three-game set at Furman Friday night at Latham Baseball Stadium.
GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS
Friday – 7 p.m. – Game No. 45
RHP Griffin Krieg (2-5, 6.71) vs. RHP Matt Solter (2-4, 4.52)
Saturday – 4 p.m. – Game No. 46
RHP Jimmy Nesselt (4-5, 4.71) vs. LHP Grant Schuermann (3-2, 5.59)
Sunday – 1 p.m. – Game No. 47
RHP Ryan Simpler (1-4, 6.85) vs. RHP Will Gaddis (3-4, 5.82)
PREVIEWING THE BUCS
ETSU (17-27, 5-10 SoCon) is coming off a 3-1 homestand after taking two of three from Western Carolina last weekend and defeating Appalachian State, 10-4, on Wednesday night at Thomas Stadium.
The Buccaneers have used a strong dose of timely hitting, pitching and defense to help spark their four-game spurt. As a team, ETSU is 11-for-15 with a runner on third and less than two outs and hitting .302 with runners in scoring position, while the Buccaneer pitching staff has a 3.75 ERA (15 ER/36.0 IP) with 30 strikeouts during their run.
Junior outfielder Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.), who broke ETSU’s single-game record with four stolen bases on Wednesday night, has reached base safely in his last 19 contests and senior outfielder Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.) has accomplished the feat in 17 straight games. Following his four stolen bases against the Mountaineers, Taylor is now tied for the SoCon lead with 19 bags swiped.
Freshman catcher Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) is hitting .400 (14-35) with one double, two home runs, five walks, seven runs and seven RBI in 10 conference games. Owenby has hit safely in his last nine SoCon contests.
Junior right-hander Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) has given the Buccaneers three quality starts in his last four SoCon outings, while he’s coming off his first collegiate complete game effort last Friday night against Western Carolina. Krieg has 21 strikeouts to five walks in his last four conference starts.
ETSU has recorded double-digit runs and hits in back-to-back games as the Blue and Gold have combined for 20 runs on 22 hits in wins over Western Carolina and Appalachian State.
Prior to dropping four of its last five, Furman (20-24, 7-8 SoCon) had won six of eight, including series wins at UNCG and Western Carolina.
After losing four straight games in Charleston (one to Charleston Southern and three to then-No. 20 Charleston), the Paladins responded with a 12-0 win at Winthrop on Tuesday night, marking Furman’s fourth shutout of the season.
As a team, the Paladins have nine players hitting over .300 with freshman two-way player Blake Chisolm leading the team with a .364 average. Meanwhile, Jordan Simpson and Chris Ohmstede have combined for 21 home runs and 62 RBI. Ohmstede, who is tied with Chisolm with a team-leading 59 hits, has totaled 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 45 RBI.
Overall, Furman leads the SoCon in hits (470), ranks second in RBI (270), and is third in batting average (.295), runs scored (293), doubles (87), and home runs (48).
Friday night starter Matt Solter ranks fourth in the conference in strikeouts (65) and seventh in innings pitched (63.2), and has combined for one of the Paladins’ four shutouts on the season. Furman’s four shutouts top all pitching staffs in the SoCon.
Furman swept the season series a year ago in non-conference action and the Paladins hold a slight, 38-37, lead in the all-time series.
The Paladins defeated the Blue and Gold, 5-3, in Johnson City, before picking up a 9-8 walk-off win in Greenville on Ohmestede’s two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.
Despite last year’s sweep, ETSU has still won seven of the last 12 in the series, while the Bucs took two of three over Furman in the last SoCon series back in 2005 in Greenville.
Jeremy Taylor is hitting .400 (4-10) in two career games against the Paladins, while Jordan Sanford is 3-for-5 with one double in two games and Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) is 2-for-6 with one double and three runs in three career games versus Furman. Junior Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) tossed two scoreless innings against the Paladins last year and Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) is 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA (5 ER/11.0 IP) in three appearances (one start) against Furman. Nesselt earned the win after tossing four scoreless innings of two-hit ball with four strikeouts back on April 24, 2012 in Greenville.
All three games this weekend will be streamed live on the SoCon Digital Network, while 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 returns home to host Winthrop on Wednesday night at 6:05 p.m. at Thomas Stadium.
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