UNCG hosts Delaware for season-opening series
Delaware (0-0, 0-0 CAA) vs. UNCG (0-0, 0-0 SoCon)
UNCG Baseball Stadium • Greensboro, N.C.
Feb. 18, 2011 • Game 1 • 4 p.m.
Internet: Spartan All Access (Friday only)
• UNCG will kick off its 2011 campaign this weekend with a three-game series against Delaware in the UNCG Baseball Stadium. The Spartans and Blue Hens will begin the series on Friday at 4 p.m. The two teams will meet again on Saturday at 1 p.m. and close out the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest.
• This season, the UNCG baseball team is embarking on its 21st season and is approaching a milestone for the program. The Spartans need just two wins this season to reach 600 wins in school history. UNCG has won 598 games all-time, with 589 of them coming since UNCG moved into Division I in 1992. All of these wins have come under the direction of coach Mike Gaski.
• The Spartans and Blue Hens have met just three times in school history, with UNCG sweeping a weekend series against Delaware back in 2005. In that series, which was also a season-opening series, UNCG took the first game 5-1 and then came back to win on Saturday, 6-5. Sunday's game was just as close as the Spartans squeaked out a 4-3 victory.
• Last week, UNCG was picked ninth in the preseason poll by the head coaches in the Southern Conference, while the media tabbed the Spartans to finish in 10th place this season. College of Charleston was the runaway pick to win the SoCon in both polls.
• Following the 2010 season, junior Blake Hassebrock was drafted in the 8th round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Oakland Athletics. It marked the second-straight season that UNCG has had a player drafted in the 8th round by the Athletics as Rob Gilliam was selected in that slot in 2009. Hassebrock signed with the Athletics a few weeks after being drafted and ended his season with the Vancouver Canadians. UNCG has now had at least one pitcher drafted in 12 of the past 14 seasons.
• Despite losing players to graduation and to the draft, UNCG will return seven of its top 10 hitters from a season ago. Kris Richards, who led the Spartans last season with a .307 average, returns this season, but will move over from third base to shortstop this season. UNCG also returns junior Lloyd Enzor who led the team last season with 40 RBI from his first base position. Chris Barker, who had a .448 on-base percentage,
• The Spartans also return two of their three weekends starters this season in Warren Slack and Colby Hyatt. Hyatt finished in fifth in the Southern Conference last season with a 4.29 ERA to go along with his 7-4 record, while Slack was 10th in the SoCon with his 4.75 ERA. Slack was also ninth in the league last year with 75 strikeouts.
• UNCG will welcome 18 newcomers to the team this season as it looks to plug some holes left by exiting players. An area that will receive the most help will be the pitching staff. After losing Hassebrock to the draft and Alex Shelton to graduation, UNCG needed to bolster pitching staff that featured just nine arms last season. The Spartans have brought in nine new arms this season, led by Jarett Miller who will join the weekend rotation. Four of those nine new pitchers are left handed-pitchers, which was neccesary after UNCG lost its only left-handed pitcher from a season ago in Shelton.
• UNCG has made admission free for all home games this season at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. Fans are encouraged to come out and support the Spartans all season long on campus.