GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG baseball hits the road for the final week of the season for a three-game series against the Furman Paladins Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Latham Baseball Stadium. The games will be played at 6 p.m., 6 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. The Spartans enter having earned the Southern Conference’s Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming SoCon Tournament next week at Fluor Field. UNCG is 37-13 and 18-3 in SoCon play having won the last eight-straight league games. Furman enters at 24-26 and 9-12 in league play.
Furman leads the all-time series with the Spartans by the narrowest of margins, owning a 38-37 record. UNCG made up some ground last season, going 5-1 against the Paladins. After sweeping Furman at home during the regular season, UNCG and Furman faced off three times in the SoCon Tournament. The Spartans won the initial meeting to earn a spot in the championship game. Furman defeated UNCG in the second matchup of the tournament to force a winner-take-all final game with the Spartans earning a 13-1 seven-inning victory to clinch the program’s first-ever tournament title.
There will be live stats and an audio stream available for this week’s games. Links for these services are located on the UNCG baseball schedule page. Stats and audio are available courtesy of FurmanPaladins.com.
The Spartan pitching rotation will feature the same three starters as the last six weekends. Matt Frisbee will get the ball to start the series, Bryce Hensley is scheduled for game two and Jake Lewis will go in the series finale. Frisbee will be making his 45th start of his career and 14th of the season Thursday night. Frisbee leads the team with 83.2 innings pitched with 107 strikeouts and owns a 10-0 record. Hensley will be making his 14th start of the season. He’s worked 73.0 innings, allowing 33 earned runs and has struck out 72 hitters. Lewis has appeared in 20 games, with eight starts. He’s gone 6-0 and earned his first quality start against Mercer two weeks ago, going 6.0 innings allowing one unearned run. This season he’s tossed 52.1 innings, with 56 strikeouts and the Spartans have outscored opponents 175-95 in games when Lewis toes the rubber.
UNCG’s offense continues to be one of the best in the country, hitting at a .326 team average and lead the country with 30 triples. Andrew Moritz is the catalyst of the Spartan lineup, hitting in the third spot of the order and sporting a .421 average, second in the nation. Moritz leads the Spartans with 52 runs scored, 55 RBI, a .635 slugging percentage. He adds 12 stolen bases and has set a school record with 10 triples this season and has hit 23 during his career. He needs one more triple to tie the Southern Conference record for triples in a season. Caleb Webster has found a groove over the last few weeks, hitting at a .381 average with a 17-game hitting streak. He’s driven in 20 runs over the last 17 games and is hitting at a .480 average.
Furman will feature the same rotation as last weekend with Nik Verbeke going Thursday, Grant Schuermann Friday and John Michael Bertrand in the finale. This season, Verbeke has appeared in 14 games, making 11 starts. He’s earned a 4.45 ERA in 64.2 innings. He’s struck out 42 hitters and opponents are hitting .307 against the right-hander. Schuermann has 11 starts under his belt this season with 13 total appearances. The senior lefty leads the team with 74.1 innings of work and has struck out 52 hitters. Bertrand will go in the finale. The southpaw has worked in 51.2 innings, earning a 5-3 mark with a 4.88 ERA.
The Furman bullpen has earned 11 saves on the year, six from Tyler Kimbrell. Kimbrell owns a 1-0 record with a 3.89 ERA in 34.2 innings of work. He’s struck out 46 hitters and opponents hit .244 against him. As a staff, opponents are hitting .311 against the Paladins.
Furman’s offense is hitting .277 on the year, ranking sixth in the league. Ben Anderson leads the team with a .376 average, fourth-best in the SoCon. Anderson leads Furman with a .552 slugging percentage having gone for extra bases 21 times with 11 doubles and seven triples. He leads the team with 46 runs scored and 39 RBI while swiping five bases. Jason Costa adds a .309 average in 44 starts, connecting for 10 doubles and nine homers this season. Former SoCon Freshman of the Year Jabari Richards adds a .266 average with seven doubles and six home runs to go with a team-leading 10 stolen bases.