ETSU heads to Charleston for SoCon series at The Citadel
ETSU looks to build upon its back-to-back wins this weekend in Charleston.
ETSU heads to Charleston for SoCon series at The Citadel
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Bucs look to improve on seeding for conference tournament

CHARLESTON, S.C. (May 7, 2015) – For the second straight weekend the ETSU baseball heads to South Carolina for conference play as the Bucs open a three-game series at The Citadel on Friday night at Riley Park. 

GAME TIMES/PITCHING MATCHUPS

Friday – 6 p.m. – Game No. 49

RHP Griffin Krieg (2-6, 6.68) vs. LHP James Reeves (6-3, 3.69)   

Saturday – 2 p.m. – Game No. 50

RHP Jimmy Nesselt (4-5, 5.19) vs. LHP JP Sears (5-4, 3.86)   

Sunday – 1 p.m. – Game No. 51

RHP Ryan Simpler (2-4, 6.28) vs. TBA 

PREVIEWING THE BUCS

ETSU (19-29, 6-12 SoCon) posted one of its best offensive displays on Wednesday night as the Bucs defeated Winthrop, 15-5. The 15 runs and 21 hits marked the second-most totals by the Blue and Gold this season. 

Seniors Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.) and Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) both finished with a career-high four hits versus the Eagles, while nine Buccaneers recorded a hit in the 10-run victory, which tied the largest win margin by ETSU this season. 

Sanford is hitting  .536 (15-28) with one double, two home runs, eight runs and nine RBI during his eight-game hitting streak, while the senior outfielder has also reached base safely in 21 straight games. The Powell, Tenn. native has 10 hits in his last three contests. 

Junior Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) also kept his streak of reaching base safely alive on Wednesday night as he has accomplished the feat in 23 straight games, tying him with Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) for the longest streak this season. 

Junior Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) registered his third straight three-hit game against the Eagles and belted his eighth home run of the season – his first since hitting back-to-back homers against UNCG on March 27-28. 

Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) won his second straight start and picked up his team-leading fifth victory of the year on Wednesday night. The Buccaneer hurler allowed one run, struck out five and walked one in five innings of work. 

As a pitching staff, ETSU has only walked one batter in its last 18 innings of work. 

With only six conference games remaining, the Blue and Gold need to do some work to get out of the SoCon play-in game between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds. ETSU enters the weekend as the eight seed in the conference standings, but the Bucs sit two games back of VMI for the seventh spot and three behind Western Carolina for No. 6 seed. VMI hosts UNCG this weekend, while Western Carolina travels to Samford. Next weekend, ETSU takes on Wofford and VMI-Western Carolina play a three-game series in Cullowhee. 

PREVIEWING THE CITADEL

The Bulldogs (20-26, 5-13 SoCon) are coming off a series win at Samford last weekend in Birmingham. 

The Citadel features one of the top pitching staffs in the SoCon as the Bulldogs lead the league in fewest earned runs allowed (213) and pickoffs (15), rank second in opposing batting average (.278), strikeouts (403), and fewest walks allowed (150), and third in ERA (4.72). 

Friday night starter James Reeves tops the SoCon in opposing batting average (.222), is tied for second in wins (6), ranks third in strikeouts (87), fourth in ERA (3.69), tied for sixth in innings (70.2), and ranks seventh in fewest runs allowed (34). Reeves tossed a no-hitter against Mercer back on April 2 when he struck out 14 and walked five. The southpaw has 18 career wins, which tops all active SoCon pitchers. 

Skylar Hunter, the Bulldogs’ closer, is tied for the SoCon lead in games finished (22) and is tied for second in saves (11). Hunter is also the all-time SoCon and Citadel record holder for saves with 39. 

Offensively, The Citadel is led by Connor Walsh as he leads the team in average (.337), hits (59), doubles (14), triples (3), runs (35) and RBI (43), while Stephen Windham (.313), Steven Hansen (.308) and Jacob Watcher (.304) are all hitting over .300. 

SERIES HISTORY

The Citadel leads the all-time series, 51-28, but ETSU knocked off the Bulldogs, 12-4, last season at Thomas Stadium. 

The Bucs are looking for their first series win since 2004 when the Blue and Gold swept the Bulldogs in Johnson City, while ETSU hasn’t won a SoCon series versus The Citadel in Charleston since March 9-10, 1996. In addition, the Bucs haven’t defeated The Citadel in Charleston since Feb. 10, 2007, when ETSU earned a 5-3, 13-inning win over the Bulldogs. 

COVERAGE

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 CitadelSports.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 four-game road swing Tuesday night as the Bucs travel to Boone, N.C., to take on Appalachian State at 6 p.m. 

TEXTCASTER

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For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.