GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNC Greensboro baseball team returns home from a successful six-game road trip, which resulted in five wins, on Tuesday at 6 p.m. to host Winthrop in the final non-conference game of the season.
The Spartans, who are 31-16 overall and 22-5 at UNCG Baseball Stadium this season, are looking to avenge a 6-3 setback to Winthrop, which came on Tuesday March 5. In that contest, Winthrop scored three runs in the final four innings to earn the three-run win.
The Eagles come into the game with a 29-19 mark and are 12-10 away from Rock Hill, S.C. Winthrop has won two of its last three games, after clinching a series against Campbell on Sunday, May 12th with a 10-9 victory.
UNCG, which posted its 30th win of the 2019 season on Saturday, May 11th, has now won 30 games in four straight seasons for the first time since 2000-05, when they had six consecutive 30-win seasons. Head Coach Link Jarrett has the distinction of being the only Spartan skipper in program history to guide UNCG to at least 35 wins in three straight seasons—a feat accomplished between 2016-18, when the Spartans won 38, 36 and 39 games in succession.
Freshman right-handed hurler Colin Best (0-0, 4.35 ERA) will make his third start of the season for the Spartans. His previous two starts came against Princeton (March 10) and High Point (April 3), where he came through with a combined six strikeouts and allowed six hits in seven innings.
Winthrop will send sophomore Macklin Ohs to the mound for his third start of the season. He enters the game with an 0-2 record and a 9.00 ERA.
UNCG-Winthrop Series Quick Notes
-UNCG and VMI have gone head-to-head on 20 occasions with the Eagles holding a 12-8 advantage in the all-time series. The Spartans are 10-10 (.500 winning percentage) under head coach Link Jarrett against a Big South Conference institutions heading into their second meeting of the season with Winthrop.
-UNCG’s 6-1 win over VMI on Saturday, May 11th marked the 16th time in program history, fourth under the direction of Jarrett, that the Spartans topped the 30-win plateau. UNCG, which has had four straight 30-win seasons under Jarrett, had not enjoyed a span of four straight 30-win seasons since 2000-05, when the Spartans rattled off six straight 30-win seasons under then head coach Mike Gaski.
Jarrett, who took over the program prior to the start of the 2013 season, is the only skipper in program history to guide UNCG to at least 35 wins in three straight seasons—a feat accomplished between 2016-18, when the Spartans won 38, 36 and 39 games in succession.
-After putting together a week where he finished 7-for-14 from the plate (.500 batting average) and accumulating five RBI, two doubles and a home run, UNCG redshirt-senior second baseman Austin Embler earned Southern Conference Player of the Week honors for all games May 5-12. He joins teammate Zack Budzik as the only other Spartan to win the league POTW honors in 2019.
-The Spartan pair of Chad Sykes and Corey Jackson have proved to be one of the best bullpen duos in the Southern Conference during the 2019 season. Collectively, they have six wins and seven saves in 20 appearances for UNCG in league action. Four of the six wins belong to Jackson, who is a perfect 4-0 in SoCon action, while all seven saves belong to Sykes.
Along with ranking atop the UNCG staff in multiple statistical categories, Sykes is among the nation’s statistical leaders in five major categories including ERA, where he is first with a 0.74, 20th in hits allowed per nine innings (5.77), 24th in saves (10), 45th in WHIP (1.01) and 70th in strikeouts per nine innings (10.99). Jackson also sits among the top 75 NCAA Division I hurlers, ranking 45th in appearances (26), 52nd in victories (seven) and 74th strikeouts per nine innings (10.91).
-UNCG teammates Jacquez Koonce and Zack Budzik share the team’s longest current hitting streak of 10 games each. In a three-game series over the weekend, against VMI, they became the fifth Spartan hitters to record double-digit hit streaks this season, preceded by Coleman Sawyer, Josh Madole and Greg Hardison.
Teammate Greg Hardison has reached base via a hit in his last six straight contests, marking his second-longest streak of the season. Meanwhile, Austin Embler put together his third hitting streak of at least five games after having a series of multi-hit outings against VMI over the weekend.
ON DECK FOR THE SPARTANS
The Spartans complete the 2019 regular season at UNCG Baseball Stadium this weekend when they host a three-game series against SoCon rival Wofford (May 16-18).