GREENSBORO, N.C. – The 2018 Southern Conference Regular Season Champions are set to open the Southern Conference Tournament Wednesday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. at Fluor Field in Greenville, South Carolina. The Spartans enter as the tournament’s top seed after winning the SoCon regular season, going 37-13 overall and 18-3 in league play. The Spartans will take on the winner of today’s play in game between The Citadel and Western Carolina. During the regular season, UNCG took 12 of 13 weekend series and every series in SoCon play. Winner of this week's SoCon Tournament receives the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
Live stats and a video stream on the Southern Conference Digital Network will be available for every game this weekend. Jason Patterson and Phil Cox will be on the call for each game of the tournament. Links these services for games involving UNCG will be on the UNCG baseball schedule page.
UNCG enters the tournament as the top seed for the second time in program history. The Spartans earned the SoCon’s regular season title in the first year in the league in 1998. UNCG won the SoCon Tournament for the first time in program history last season and are looking to be the first repeat winners since The Citadel repeated as Tournament Champions in the 1998 and 1999 seasons. Overall, the Spartans are 24-30 in the SoCon Tournament and 16-17 in tournament play against current SoCon opponents.
Getting the ball in game one of the tournament will be the SoCon’s Pitcher of the Year, Matt Frisbee. Frisbee has earned a 10-0 record with a 2.90 ERA. He’s the fifth pitcher in school history to record over 100 strikeouts, punching out 107 on the season. This will be Frisbee’s 45th career start and third in the SoCon Tournament. In tournament play, Frisbee has a 1-0 record and made his only career relief appearance last season against Furman.
UNCG’s bullpen boasts a league-high 21 saves this season, led by Second Team All-SoCon selection Andrew Wantz and Jack Maynard. Each has earned nine saves this season, with Wantz going 6-0 and Maynard 5-3. Maynard leads the team with a 1.52 ERA in 59.1 innings and Wantz adds a 2.52 ERA in 50 innings. Wantz is even more dominant against SoCon opponents, earning a 0.40 ERA with a 3-0 mark and three saves in nine appearances. Adding to the save total is redshirt senior Easton Welch. Welch has gone 4-1 with three saves and has earned a 3.07 ERA in 44.0 innings.
The offense has been UNCG’s calling card during head coach Link Jarrett’s tenure and this 2018 squad has been no different. The SoCon’s Player of the Year Andrew Moritz leads the nation’s second-best offense with a .421 average. Moritz’s average ranks second nationally and is tied for the program record for average in a season. As a team, the Spartans hit for a .326 average. Moritz leads the team and the SoCon with 55 RBI and set school and SoCon records with 23 career triples. He owns the program record with 10 triples this season. He needs just one more triple to tie the SoCon record for triples in a season.
Along with Moritz, Caleb Webster has been a consistent presence in the Spartan lineup and was named First Team All-SoCon for his efforts this season. Webster hits at a .381 average and is tied with Moritz for the team-lead with 83 hits. His average ranks third in the Southern Conference. He adds nine extra base hits and a pair of home runs. He leads the team with 12 sacrifice hits this season and has played all 50 games at third base.
Cesar Trejo was a Second Team All-SoCon honoree, hitting .367 this season and driving in 46 runs. Trejo leads the team with 25 extra-base hits, 15 doubles and is 21-for-22 with stolen bases. Austin Embler has been a catalyst at the top of the lineup card, earning First Team All-SoCon honors. Embler owns a .352 average with 16 extra-base hits including 13 doubles. Embler has been the lead off hitter in all 49 games this season, scoring 51 runs and driving in 30 while posting a .433 on-base percentage.