Baseball Set for a Duo of Midweek Tilts
GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNCG baseball is riding a four-game winning streak into a pair of midweek games this week. Tuesday will see UNCG host the Elon Phoenix at 4 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Spartans hit the road Wednesday for a midweek contest in Rock Hill as UNCG will take on the 2017 Big South Regular Season Champion, Winthrop Eagles at 6 p.m.
Live stats will be available for both contests. There will be a video stream on the SoCon Digital Network for Tuesday’s game with Elon. There will be an audio stream for the matchup at Winthrop. Links for the services are located on the UNCG baseball schedule page.
The Spartans have a 34-17 record all-time against the Phoenix, but have won four of the last five meetings. Last season, UNCG swept the season series and will look to do the same on Tuesday. Less than a week ago, UNCG used a ninth inning rally to secure a 7-5 victory over Elon at Latham Park.
UNCG and Winthrop were scheduled to play last Tuesday, but inclement weather postponed the game until this Wednesday. Winthrop leads the all-time series with the Spartans, 10-7. The last meeting between the two schools came in the 1997 Big South Tournament, as UNCG earned a 4-3 win over the Eagles. The Spartans have won the last four-straight meetings, having swept the three-game set prior to the tournament in 1997.
The Spartan offense hits at a .346 clip; ranking second in the nation behind Tennessee Tech. Cesar Trejo (Greensboro, N.C./Ragsdale) leads the offense with a .518 (29-for-56) average and 21 RBI in 15 contests. Trejo has gone for extra bases 13 times including leading or tying for the team lead in doubles (7), triples (3) and home runs (3).
Andrew Moritz (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) added 12 hits in four games last week to raise his average nearly .100 points. He’s now hitting at a .444 (28-for-63) average, with four doubles, a triple and one home run. He’s driven in 16 runs and scored 15 times. He’s tied with Trejo for the team lead with six stolen bases.
Dillon Stewart (Coats, N.C./Brunswick CC) hits at a .400 (22-for-55) clip, hitting in the fourth spot of the order all 15 games. Stewart has ten extra-base hits, including seven doubles and three home runs to go with 12 RBI.
Dan Loats (Eden Prairie, Minn./NIACC) will get the start on the mound Tuesday night. Loats has made four appearances and started last week against the Phoenix. Loats worked a season-high 3.0 innings, allowing a pair of earned unearned runs without allowing a hit and picking up two strikeouts.
Jack Maynard (Crozet, Va./Patrick Henry CC) and Andrew Wantz (Holly Springs, N.C./Holly Springs) anchor the Spartan bullpen. Maynard has made eight appearances, earning a 4-1 record and a 1.37 ERA in 19.2 innings of work. He’s struck out a team-high 28 hitters and has given up just three extra-base hits on the season. Wantz has worked in nine contests, earning a 2-0 record, five saves and a 1.06 ERA. He’s allowed just two earned runs and struck out 24 hitters in 17.0 innings of work. He limits opponents to hitting just .158 against him as he’s allowed just nine hits.
After dropping the midweek to UNCG on Tuesday, Elon went on to sweep Appalachian State, outscoring the Mountaineers 20-2 without allowing a run until the seventh inning of the final game of the series. The Phoenix enter at 8-8 after rounding out a portion of the schedule that saw Elon face three former Southern Conference opponents in Georgia Southern, UNCG and App State.
The Elon offense hits at a .241 average, led by shortstop Ryne Ogren. Ogren leads the Phoenix offense with a .339 (20-for-59) average with a team-high 17 RBI. Matt Oldham has started ten games, earning a .333 (14-for-42) average with seven RBI and two doubles. Cam Devanney, Liam O’Regan and James Venuto lead the team with a pair of home runs each.
Ryan Conroy got the start last Tuesday for Elon. It was Conroy’s second career start against UNCG. He went 4.0 innings, allowing four hits and a pair of earned runs in a no-decision. The Elon bullpen has been strong as the team has earned a 3.49 ERA, ranking 68th in the nation. Brandon Justice has worked in nine games out of the bullpen, earning a 1.42 ERA in 12.2 innings. Jared Wetherbee suffered the loss last week, giving up two runs in the ninth inning. This season, Wetherbee has a 2.79 ERA in seven appearances, allowing three earned runs on the season.
Winthrop enters the contest at 5-11 and dropped all three games to ETSU last weekend in Johnson City. The Eagles registered wins over Maryland Eastern Shore, Kent State and The Citadel on the season.
The Eagle offense hits at a .243 clip in 16 games, led by Dillon Morton. Morton has started nine games, appearing in 14 and hits at a .294 clip (10-for-34). He’s hit a triple, a home run and driven in six runs. Matthew Mulkey leads the team with 11 RBI, hitting at a .269 (14-for-52) average in 16 games. He has seven extra-base hits with three doubles, a triple and a team-high three home runs. Hunter Lipscomb adds seven extra base hits to a .246 (14-for-57) average with nine home runs.
The Winthrop pitching staff has a 5.74 ERA in 16 games. Last week, Daniel Willcutt got the start in the midweek contest against The Citadel. Willcutt went 3.0 innings, allowing an earned run on one hit and struck out three batters. Turner Scruggs has made three bullpen appearances, earning a 3.86 ERA in 4.2 innings. Riley Arnone has made five appearances, working in 17.0 innings and picked up Winthrop’s lone save of the season.