RICHMOND, Ky. (April 19, 2016) – The ETSU baseball team continues its nine-game road swing as the Buccaneers take on Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday at Turkey Hughes Field. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.
ABOUT THE BUCS
ETSU (15-20) was swept over the weekend at UNC Wilmington as the Bucs were outscored, 48-23, in the series.
Senior Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) – who played in his 200th career game on Friday night – hit .545 (6-for-11) with three runs scored and three stolen bases … Following his three stolen bases this past weekend, Taylor moved past Stephen Douglas for third-place all-time with 66 career steals.
Junior outfielder Lance Mays (Ridgely, Tenn.) has reached base safely in 20 straight games, while Blake Rowlett (Clarksville, Tenn.) has accomplished the feat in 15 consecutive games.
As a group, the Bucs have recorded double-digit hits in eight of their last nine games … Overall, the Blue and Gold rank 25th nationally in hits (383), while ranking fifth in home runs (47) and slugging percentage (.503), 22nd in triples (14), and 28th in scoring (7.4) and batting average (.306).
Individually, senior Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) ranks seventh nationally in total bases (98), 17th in doubles (15), 19th in slugging percentage (.695), 22nd in runs (40), and 42nd in hits (54) … York and sophomore Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) rank 34th in home runs (9), while Owenby is 35th in total bases (89).
Junior Blake Smith (Ninety Six, S.C.) has not allowed an earned run in his last two appearances (5.0 total innings).
Eastern Kentucky has won four of its last six – including a series win over SIU-Edwardsville this past weekend – and the Colonels enter the midweek contest with a 17-19 record … EKU is outscoring its opponents, 45-20, over this six-game stretch.
EKU is led by preseason All-American and OVC Player of the Year Kyle Nowlin … Nowlin, a senior outfielder, is tied for the national lead in home runs (15), ranks 31st in slugging percentage (.672), 32nd in total bases (90) and 35th in RBI (41) … Senior third baseman Mandy Alvarez ranks 14th in hits (59) and 21st in total bases (90).
As a club, the Colonels rank 11th nationally in home runs (42), 32nd in walks (172), 40th in slugging percentage (.446), 41st in runs (251) and 44th in scoring (7.0).
Junior first baseman Ben Fisher carries a seven-game hit streak into Wednesday’s game, while senior left-hander Luke McGee has allowed one hit in his last 6.2 innings … Opponents are only hitting .050 against the southpaw during this stretch of games.
Blake Smith will get the start for the Blue and Gold, while EKU sends junior left-hander Nick Cumpston to the hill.
Smith is making his eighth start of the season on Wednesday and is 3-4 with a 5.40 ERA (27 ER/45.0 IP) with 36 strikeouts in 12 appearances.
Cumpston is 2-2 with a 3.41 ERA (12 ER/31.2 IP) in 12 appearances (three starts) this season ... Cumpston is making his first start since March 16 and went 3.1 innings of one-run ball (four walks) on Saturday against SIUE.
The Colonels lead the all-time series, 52-36-1, but the Bucs won the weather-shortened series last year in the 2015 season-opener in Johnson City … York went 5-for-7 (.714) with three home runs, five runs and six RBI in the two games against EKU last season … Jeremy Taylor was also 3-for-8 (.375) with two doubles, two runs, three RBI and two stolen bases in the series … Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.), Dillon Cate (Sevierville, Tenn.), and Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) all pitched one scoreless inning out the bullpen last season.
The Bucs are looking for their first win at Eastern Kentucky since 2011 when ETSU defeated the Colonels, 18-7.
The two programs played the first-ever series in Thomas Stadium to open the 2012 season.
Live stats will be available for Wednesday’s game courtesy of EKUSports.com … Click here for live stats.
Live updates will also be available via Twitter by following @ETSU_Baseball.
ETSU continues its season-long nine-game road trip this weekend when the Bucs open a three-game SoCon series at UNCG on Friday night.
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