JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 15, 2019) – ETSU will rekindle its most storied rivalry on Tuesday at Thomas Stadium, welcoming cross-state rival Appalachian State to Johnson City at 6 p.m. presented by Quillen ETSU Physicians.
The Buccaneers (25-10, 6-3 SoCon) and Mountaineers (15-18, 7-7 Sun Belt) have faced off 136 times — the most of any opponent in ETSU history. Both teams are heating up coming out of the weekend, with ETSU taking two from Furman on Saturday and App State riding a three-game winning streak.
Game Day Central
Live stats will be available via StatBroadcast for Tuesday’s contest. Tuesday is also Little Bucs Day at “The Thom” where children 12 and under receive free admission with a paying adult.
Appalachian State leads the series 78-57-1, although the last 20 matchups have been split evenly at 10 wins apiece dating back to 2006.
The cross-state rivals have not faced off since 2017, splitting a home-and-home. ETSU won the last contest at Thomas Stadium on April 4, 2017 by a final of 5-4. App State won the last overall contest, which was an 8-7 win in Boone, N.C. on April 25, 2017.
ETSU rode a seven game win streak that ended against Georgetown March 31 — its longest streak of the Pennucci Era and longest since 2013.
With a 19-3 home record, ETSU is one of five teams in the nation to have at least 19 home wins with two or less losses, joining North Carolina (21-2), LSU (20-3), Liberty (20-3) and Arizona State (23-3).
ETSU received votes for the first time under Coach Joe Pennucci three weeks back, earning six votes in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Two weeks ago, ETSU picked up one vote for the Top 25.
The Blue and Gold are seeking their third straight winning season this year and would do so for the first time since 1981-83 with a winning effort in 2019.
The Bucs have 25 newcomers in 2019, their largest turnover in the last 30 seasons and the most reported newcomers in the nation this year. ETSU also has its second-largest roster in that span with 10 returners, making up a 35-man roster.
About the Bucs
As a team, ETSU is batting .277 with 33 homers and 75 doubles — the 24th most doubles in all of Division 1. On the mound, the Bucs have a team-ERA of 3.51 to lead the SoCon.
Offensively, the Bucs are led by junior catcher Jackson Greer (Knoxville) with 11 doubles, sxi homers, 29 RBI and a .571 slugging percentage, while junior Cullen Smith (Lebanon) has a team-high batting average of .326 on 43 hits to go with five homers and 23 RBI.
ETSU has used 13 pitchers this year. Among those pitchers are weekend starters Micah Kaczor (Washington, D.C.), Landon Knack (Johnson City) and Daniel Sweeney (Johnson City) who combine for a 17-2 record and each have ERA’s that rank top-10 in the SoCon.
Knack has emerged as the leader with an 8-0 record and 2.16 ERA. Knack leads the staff with 60 strikeouts and 58.1 innings. Knack is also one of three players atop the NCAA with eight victories. Dating back to his JUCO days at Walters State, Knack has won 21 straight decisions on the bump.
Kaczor continues to hold down the ace role with a 2.24 ERA and a 4-0 record. Sweeney, who starts Sundays, has a 5-2 record with a 3.17 ERA. Sweeney had a career-high 10 strikeouts at Furman this past weekend, picking up the win in 7.0 innings.
About Appalachian State
The Mountaineers (15-18, 7-7 Sun Belt) ride a three game win streak into Johnson City and are winners of four of their last five.
As a team, Appalachian State is batting .258 while posting a 4.29 ERA on the mound.
Luke Drumheller is the leading source of offense for the Mountaineers, sporting a .392 average to rank atop the Sun Belt Conference. Drumheller leads the team in at-bats (120), hits (47), doubles (13), RBI (32) and on-base percentage (.425).
On the mound, Kaleb Bowman serves as the top reliever with a 1.46 ERA through 37 innings in 17 appearances, owning a 4-0 record with four saves. The Mountaineers have used 13 pitchers this season, four of which have made at least 10 appearances in relief.
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