JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 10, 2017) – After the first game between ETSU and Tennessee was rained out in early March, the Bucs and Volunteers are rescheduled to go head-to-head for the first time this season on Tuesday, April 11 at Thomas Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
About the Bucs
ETSU enters the in-state rivalry with a 14-15 overall mark. The Bucs are 3-2 in mid-week contests this season including going 2-1 in games on Tuesday.
After knocking a pair of home runs in the weekend series with Western Carolina, Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) joins six other teammates hitting above .300 this season. The junior led the team in runs scored this weekend with four and slugged .917 over the weekend.
Now at the top of the team in batting average is Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.), who went 6-for-12 against the Catamounts including connecting with a pair of doubles. Bailey is now hitting at a .390 mark in 123 at-bats and 29 starts this year.
Caleb Longley (Cleveland, Tenn.) keeps moving up as he now hits at a .326 clip. He knocked his sixth home run on Sunday to tie Owenby for the most home runs on the squad. Longley leads the team in slugging percentage with .605 and RBIs with 29.
Junior Hunter Parker (Chattanooga, Tenn.) leads the team in on-base percentage as he reaches base 47.1 percent of his at-bats.
As a team, the Bucs are stealing bases at an incredible rate as they average 1.31 stolen bases per game. Coming into the Western Carolina series, ETSU was 67th in the nation and was stealing bases at a 1.27 rate per game.
Leading the Buccaneer squad in stolen bases is Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.). He is 11-for-12 and has a 91.67 stolen base percentage. Right behind him is Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) who has swiped nine bases in ten attempts this year. Four Bucs are perfect in stolen bases this year including leading slugger Longley. Joining that short list without being caught stealing is Bailey, Cullen Smith (Lebanon, Tenn.) and Brock Beeler (Knoxville, Tenn.) as these four Bucs are a perfect 10-for-10 combined.
Scouting the Volunteers
Tennessee enters the mid-week matchup with a 17-12 overall record. The Volunteers are fresh off a road series win at No. 7 Florida where UT won the first two games of the series in extra innings. All three games against the Gators were decided by one run and saw a combined 27 runs scored.
The Vols started the season red-hot, as they were 9-1 in their first ten games. After receiving national votes in the top-25, Tennessee started to slip as the team went 4-7 in its next 11 games. However, the Vols played tough Southeastern Conference competition in that stretch with No. 7 South Carolina and Mississippi State.
The Bucs and Vols have only played one common opponent this year - Marshall. UT hosted the Thundering Herd in March where the Volunteers defeated Marshall 7-1 in Knoxville, Tenn.
Four Volunteers are hitting above .300 this year with Jordan Rodgers leading the team at .365 in 28 starts. Jeff Moberg is hitting at a .355 clip, and he is tied for the most extra base hits (11) on the squad. He also leads the Volunteer team with six home runs and a .562 slugging percentage. Pete Derkay has one of the highest on-base percentages in the country as he reaches base in 50 percent of his at-bats.
Tennessee has a formidable pitching staff where its bullpen shines. The Volunteers have six relievers with a sub-3.00 ERA including three pitchers with an ERA below 1.00.
Jon Lipinski has seen the most action this season as he has appeared in 14 games and sports a perfect 3-0 record. He has tossed 15 innings while allowing seven hits and striking out 13 and holding opponents to a .140 batting average. The other strong reliever for UT is Garrett Stallings who is also undefeated this year at 2-0. He has appeared in 14 games and even started two. He has hurled 36 innings and holds opposing teams to 0.86 earned runs per outing.
As a staff, they have struck out 220 batters and hold opposing teams to a .254 batting average. They sport a 4.08 team ERA and have tossed two shutouts this year – at Memphis (10-0) and versus Tennessee Tech (6-0).
Similarly to the Bucs, Tennessee likes to steal bases as the team has swiped 35 bags this season. The Vols have been caught stealing 12 times, but they average 1.21 stolen bases per game.
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