GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG baseball team will host its final non-conference weekend series of the season when the Spartans welcome George Mason for a three-game set beginning on Friday, April 12th at 6 p.m.
The Spartans (20-11) are 17-4 at home on the season, outscoring the opposition 134-109 at UNCG Baseball Stadium. UNCG is hitting .295 at home as a unit, led individually by the duo of Zack Budzik (7-for-17, .412 batting avg.) and Jacquez Koonce (26-for-75, .347 batting avg.).
George Mason (13-19) enters the weekend with one road win in 14 attempts. The Patriots, who have dropped their last 11 games away from Fairfax, Va., earned their lone road victory of the season at Longwood (4-3) on Feb. 26th.
UNCG will send Phillip Sanderson (3-2, 5.63 ERA) to open the series on Friday evening. Sanderson is making his eighth start in nine appearances on the season. He has logged a team-high 38.1 innings, surrendered 47 hits, 29 runs (24 earned runs) and fanned 32 opposing hitters on the season.
Saturday’s starter for UNCG will be freshman Austin Koehn, who is 1-1 on the slate with a 3.41 ERA, second-best on the team and the best of any starter. Koehn has tossed 37 innings, allowed 37 hits, 17 runs (14 earned runs) and issued 12 walks. He has struck out 29 batters, fifth-most of any Spartan hurler, and limited opposing hitters to a .268 batting average.
SERIES BREAKDOWN (vs. George Mason)
-UNCG has 87 previous meetings against the 13 teams that currently make up the Atlantic-10 Conference, owning a 48-39 mark along the way. The Spartans have gone head-to-head against eight of the 13 teams, including George Mason on only one occasion. The most common opponent for UNCG in the A-10 is Davidson, who was a member of the Southern Conference until the beginning of the 2013-14 athletic season. The Spartans have 63 all-time meetings with the Wildcats with UNCG owning a 35-28 edge in the all-time series.
The meeting with George Mason took place on Feb. 25, 2005 in Wilmington, N.C., under former UNCG head coach Mike Gaski. The two teams met as part of the Hughes Brothers Challenge, hosted by UNC Wilmington that weekend.
-UNCG has also faced off against Atlantic-10 Conference opponents Dayton (3x), Fordham (twice), George Washington (9x), Rhode Island (1x), Richmond (6x) and VCU (2x).
Among the 87 all-time meetings, seven have come under current UNCG head coach Link Jarrett. In seven years at the helm, Jarrett’s teams have faced Davidson (4x) and Dayton (3x). Both series took place in 2013, Jarrett’s first season.
-UNCG has two hitters with ongoing hit streaks of at least 11 games including Josh Madole (13 games) and Greg Hardison (11). Madole’s hitting streak began at First National Bank Field, versus crosstown rival N.C. A&T on March 19, when he finished 1-for-4 from the plate with a double. Madole is one of three UNCG hitters, along with Caleb Webster, Ryan Caveness, to have at least a pair of five-game streaks for the Spartans this season.
Hardison, who has missed the last eight games due to injury, began his hitting streak against Princeton on March 10. He has a trio of multi-hit outings in that span, which took place against Elon (March 12; 2-5), Jacksonville (March 16; 2-3) and Jacksonville (March 16; 2-5) in succession. The sophomore slugger has amassed three doubles during the current 11-game hitting streak, which came in games against Jacksonville (March 17), Mercer (March 23 / March 24).
-After a week in which he finished 7-of-14 from the plate (.500 batting average) and was responsible for four RBI, four doubles and a walk-off home run, UNCG freshman Zack Budzik was named Southern Conference Player of the Week for all games April 1-7.
Budzik, who had not gotten a hit on the season in three at-bats, capped off the four-game stretch against High Point (one game) and Furman (three games) by amassing a .929 slugging percentage and a .563 on-base percentage, drawing just one walk in the four games, while swiping two bases.
-UNCG and George Mason have two common opponents on their respective 2019 schedules entering the weekend—Winthrop and Princeton.
The Patriots squared off against Winthrop in their first weekend of the season, dropping a doubleheader by scores of 3-1 (Game 1) and 7-0 (Game 2) on February 24th.
The following weekend, George Mason played host to Princeton (March 2-3), winning the series 2-1. The Patriots suffered a 5-3 loss in the first game against Princeton on March 2nd but rebounded to take the second game of the day by a 6-0 final. George Mason emerged with a 7-6 win in 10 innings in the rubber match game on Sunday, March 3rd.
As for UNCG, the Spartans have met Winthrop only once at this point of the season, suffering a 6-3 setback in Rock Hill, S.C., on March 5th. Three days later, UNCG hosted a four-game series against Princeton, which ended in sweep by the Spartans. The series began with a 3-2 win on Friday, March 8th by UNCG and followed with wins of 5-3 and 6-2 in Saturday’s meeting with the Tigers. UNCG closed out the series with a 5-3 triumph over Princeton on March 10th.
One of the biggest glaring differences between George Mason and UNCG is that the Spartans are 17-4 at home, while George Mason is 1-13 on the road.
ON DECK FOR THE SPARTANS
The Spartans next opponent is Campbell, who heads to Greensboro for a game on April 16th at 6 p.m.