May 05, 2017123456789RHE
The Citadel11011030X7122
Win: Marlin Morris (1-2) 1.110001
Loss: Jamin McCann (3-2) 0.112210
Aaron Maher (ETSU) 512300
Seth Cunningham (ETSU) 302000
Jonathan Sabo (CIT) 533202
Jeffery Brown (CIT) 433100
Clay Martin (CIT) 303210
May 06, 2017123456789RHE
The Citadel20020000X461
Win: JP Sears (5-2) 9.0211213
Loss: Griffin Krieg (1-5) 6.054419
Hagen Owenby (ETSU) 301010
Cullen Smith (ETSU) 211010
Jeffery Brown (CIT) 412000
May 07, 201712345678910RHE
The Citadel02001005109121
Win: Logan Gentry (1-1) 1.200011
Loss: Kyle Smith (0-1) 1.211112
Hagen Owenby (ETSU) 513301
Taylor Cothran (CIT) 623401
Bucs and Bulldogs square off this weekend in Charleston
Bucs and Bulldogs square off this weekend in Charleston
Thursday, May 4, 2017

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 4, 2017) – The ETSU baseball team travels to Charleston, S.C. to square off with The Citadel this weekend in a pivotal Southern Conference showdown beginning on Friday, May 5 at 4 p.m. at Joe Riley Park.

Probable Starters

Friday: RHP Ryan Simpler (6-3, 3.70 ERA) vs. RHP Alex Bialakis (0-2, 6.62 ERA)

Saturday: RHP Griffin Krieg (1-4, 5.71 ERA) vs. LHP JP Sears (4-2, 2.31 ERA)

Sunday: RHP Blake Smith (3-5, 5.21 ERA) vs. RHP Will Abbott (1-5, 3.91 ERA)

About the Bucs

ETSU enters the crucial weekend series with a 20-23 overall record and a 3-12 Southern Conference mark.

The last time these two teams squared off was last year when the Bucs bounced the Bulldogs out of the SoCon Tournament in an elimination game. Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) stifled The Citadel’s bats as he twirled eight innings while limiting the Bulldogs to two runs and walking one and setting a career record by striking out 10 batters. Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) finished the postseason game going 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Blake Rowlett (Clarksville, Tenn.) tallied one hit, and Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) recorded a RBI and a run scored in the same game.

As a team, ETSU is hitting at a .309 batting average including averaging just over seven runs and 11 hits per game. Leading the offensive surge is Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) who is third in the league with a .388 batting average. He is also first in hits (69), tied for first in sacrifice flies (6) and tied for fourth in doubles (14) in the SoCon. Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) is right behind his teammate as he is tied for fourth in hits (66), tied for second in doubles (15), tied for fourth in total bases (105) while connecting at a .347 clip this year.

Owenby leads the Blue and Gold in conference games as he connects at a .371 rate in SoCon matches. He is tied for the most home runs on the squad with four while he leads the team in total hits (23), slugging percentage (.613) and on-base percentage (.443) in conference games only.

Cullen Smith (Lebanon, Tenn.) has regained his confidence at the plate as he has connected with multiple hits in three of the last four games including going 3-for-4 in the series opener against Wofford. In the series finale with the Terriers, the Lebanon, Tenn. native struck for three RBIs including his first collegiate triple.

Right-handed starting pitcher Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) continues to dazzle as he has started in 11 games this year while posting a 6-3 overall record. The six wins mark the most in his career in one season and ranks tied for third in the league this year. He totes a team-leading 3.70 ERA in 73 innings pitched while striking out 80 batters and holding opponents to a .266 batting average.

Scouting the Bulldogs

The Citadel enters the weekend matchup with a 12-29 overall record and a 3-12 SoCon mark. The team has lost seven straight games with two of those games going into extra innings.

As a team, the Bulldogs hit at a .235 batting average while averaging 4.39 runs and 7.85 hits per game.

Leading the team offensively is Jonathan Sabo who has started in all 41 games. He leads the team in batting average (.314), runs (38), hits (8), home runs (8), RBIs (26), total bases (82), slugging percentage (.516) and on-base percentage (.397). Bryce Leasure and Ben Peden are neck-and-neck for the second slot on the squad as the duo hit .266 and .264 respectively on the squad.

JP Sears is a member of Golden Spikes Watch List, which names the best overall college player in NCAA Division I baseball. He is 4-1 this year with a 2.31 ERA. He has started 10 games and twirled 70 innings. In those games, he averages 10.2 strikeouts per game and has only walked 16 batters. He has allowed 18 earned runs in 10 starts and holds batters to a .218 batting average, but he has allowed the most extra-base hits (18) on the team.

Will Abbott is the second-best starting pitcher for the Bulldogs as he is 1-5 on the year and while sporting a 3.91 ERA. He has held batters to a .236 batting average in 50.2 frames.

Aaron Lesiak, who is a key reliever for the Bulldogs, is 3-3 on the year in 22 appearances. He totes a 2.78 ERA including recording two saves. He has tossed 22.2 innings while allowing seven earned runs and striking out 20 batters and has yet to allow a home run this year.

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