UNCg set to host Cleveland State for weekend series
Cleveland State (1-2) vs. UNCG (2-2)
UNCG Baseball Stadium • Greensboro, N.C.
Feb. 25, 2011 • Game 5-7 • 4 p.m.
• UNCG will host Cleveland State this weekend for its second home series of the season of the series beginning with a Friday contest at 4 p.m. The two teams will play again on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. each day at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
• On Tuesday night, the Spartans hosted UNC Asheville for their first midweek contest of the season. The Bulldogs came out victorious in the game, 3-0. The game proved to be a pitcher's duel as the two teams combined for just three runs and nine total hits.
• After finishing fourth in the nation last season by being hit by a pitch 26 times, Chris Barker has picked where he left off this season. Through four games this season, Barker has already been hit by a pitch on four occasions. He only ranks behind Alex Lee from Wofford in the conference in hit by pitches, after Lee has been plunked five times in his first four games.
• Last weekend, the Spartans won the three-game series against Delaware, 2-1, after winning the first two meetings. UNCG used a six-run inning in the season-opener on Friday to win 7-3 before needing a two-run walk-off double by Chris Barker on Saturday to defeat the Blue Hens, 10-9. In the series finale, the two teams were knotted at one until the 14th inning when Delaware pushed two runs across the plate to win 3-1.
• Last Saturday, the UNCG baseball team reached a milestone in the 21st season of the program. The 10-9 walk-off win on Saturday gave head coach Mike Gaski his 600th career win. The win was also the 600th in program history as Gaski has been the lone skipper for the Spartans over the past 21 seasons.
• The Spartans and Bulldogs have met 23 times in school history, with UNCG leading the all-time series 19-4. The last time the two teams met was back on May 13, 2009, as the Spartans came away with a 7-6 win.
• Prior to the season, 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 weekend 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 necessary 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.