UNCG set for pivotal three-game series against Wofford
UNCG (22-23, 7-17 SoCon) vs. Wofford Terriers (19-29, 6-18 SoCon)
UNCG Baseball Stadium • Greensboro, N.C.
May 11-13, 2012 • Games 46-48 • 6 p.m., 1 p.m., 1 p.m.
Live Video: Spartan All Access (free all season) (Saturday & Sunday only)
• After wrapping up its longest road trip of the year of seven games, UNCG returns to the friendly confines of UNCG Baseball Stadium for the first time since April 21 for a pivotal Southern Conference three-game set against the Wofford Terriers starting on Friday at 6 p.m. The teams will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
• The Spartans will try to get back to .500 after dipping below that mark for the first time since May 2010. UNCG is 16-11 at home this year and is looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since defeating Davidson (April 21) and No. 10 North Carolina (April 24).
• This series is virtually a must-win for both teams as both are just outside of eighth place and looking up at Furman for the final spot for the Southern Conference Baseball Championship that starts on May 23. Coming into the weekend, UNCG trails the Paladins by two games and Wofford trails Furman by three games and the Spartans by one. Furman, UNCG and Wofford each have one more three-game conference set to transpire next weekend to solidify the final the standings.
• UNCG's Cambric Moye and Bobby Martin have caught fire over the last 10 games for the Spartans as both have contributed offensively in different ways. Moye hit home runs in back-to-back games over the weekend at Appalachian State to triple his home run total from one to three while throwing out three-of-five base runners. The Goldsboro, N.C., native leads the team with a .435 (10-for-23) batting average, .696 slugging percentage and a .517 on-base percentage over that span. Martin is hitting a .350 (14-for-40) clip with a double and a triple over the last 10 games. Martin has pestered defenses as he has successfully stolen four bases in four attempts and has scored a team-high nine runs. The senior has shown patience as he has walked a team-high seven times and has collected three RBI over the span.
• Junior Zach Leach continues to impress as he sits second on the team with a .327 batting average. He hit two triples with five RBI and slugged .750 against the SoCon-leading Appalachian State Mountaineers last weekend. The Herndon, Va., native sits in the top three in almost every statistical category for UNCG and leads the team with four triples on the season and sits tied for second with six stolen bases. Earlier in the year, Leach put together an 18-game hitting streak, which was second best in the Southern Conference and a team best.
• UNCG has dominated the series against Wofford, 37-10. In 2011, UNCG accomplished a rare feat as it didn't allow a single run in a three-game series against the Terriers. The Spartans shut out the Terriers in all three games by 3-0, 5-0 and 15-0 scores. However, the last time the two teams met in Greensboro was in 2010 and Wofford took two-of-three by outscoring UNCG, 32-19.
• On Tuesday, Wofford stepped out of conference for a game against Campbell and fell 9-4. Over the weekend, the Terriers traveled to Furman and dropped two-of-three. The Paladins took game one in a squeaker, 4-3, over Wofford on Friday. On Saturday, the Terriers returned the favor in an extra-inning slugfest as Wofford needed 12 innings to defeat Furman, 11-10. Furman cruised to a 9-5 victory in the rubber match on Sunday.
• On Wednesday, UNCG's game against Duke was canceled due to rain. Over the weekend, UNCG travelled to Boone, N.C., to face off with the SoCon-leading Mountaineers of Appalachian State. All three games proved to be very entertaining as Appalachian State took the first two games of the series by one run, 8-7 and 5-4. However, the Spartans got the last laugh as they defeated the Mountaineers, 10-8, on Appalachian State's senior day and handed the Mountaineers only their second loss at home of the 2012 campaign.
• The Terriers' Mac Doyle will pace the offense as he leads the team in basically every statistical category. He is the only Terrier with a batting average over .300 as he is hitting .354 (64-for-181) on the season. Doyle leads the team with 64 hits, 34 runs scored, 110 total bases, 25 walks, a .449 on-base percentage, 11 homers, 43 RBI, eight hit-by-pitches and a .608 slugging percentage. He is tied for the for the team lead with nine doubles, second on the team with 11 stolen bases and is tied for third with two triples. Eric Eck will lead the bullpen staff as he is 4-2 on the year in 25 appearances and leads the team with seven saves. In 42 1/3 innings of work, Eck has allowed only nine extra base hits while striking out 58 batters compared to 21 walks on the year.
• Like last year, the Spartans are thriving on "small ball" and currently are second in the nation with 74 sacrifice bunts on the season. Long Beach State has surpassed the Spartans and has 77. Moye leads the team with 13 while Richards has 10. Leach, Martin and Wolfe have chipped in with nine each and Thomas Troelstrup has chimed in with eight.
• It has been a tale of two halves of innings for UNCG as the opposition has outscored UNCG 35-21 in the first inning and 27-11 in the ninth. However, the Spartans enjoy the fifth inning as they hold a 22-run advantage, 48-26, over their opponents.
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