UNCG (16-10, 8-4 SoCon) vs. Duke (16-14, 3-9 ACC)
UNCG Baseball Stadium • Greensboro, N.C.
April 5, 2011 • Game 27 • 6 p.m.
• Coming off its first-ever SoCon series win over Elon this past weekend, UNCG will look to continue its hot play as of late when the Spartans host Duke on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
• This past weekend, the Spartans hosted backyard-rival Elon for a three-game series and took the series from the Phoenix, 2-1. UNCG and Elon were locked in a scoreless affair through eight innings in the first game of the series on Friday before Elon scored a run in the top of ninth to come away with the 1-0 win. UNCG came back on Saturday to tie the weekend series after the Spartans scored six runs in the sixth inning en route to a 13-9 win. It appeared as if Elon would win the series as it held a 5-3 in the ninth inning on Sunday, but UNCG struck for three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the series finale 6-5.
• UNCG trails in the all-time series against Duke, 6-2, dating back to 1999. Last season, the Spartans fell to the Blue Devils in a pitcher's duel, 1-0. Duke got an RBI single in the sixth inning and the two teams combined for just nine hits as the game lasted just an hour and 53 minutes.
• Duke comes into the game with a 16-14 record overall and a 3-9 mark in the ACC. The Blue Devils came storming out of the gates to start the year as they ran out to an 11-2 record, but have gone 5-12 since that time. Last weekend, Duke handed No. 6 Georgia Tech its first ACC loss of the season in a 4-3 win on Saturday.
• Last Tuesday, the Spartans hosted ACC foe NC State and fell, 9-1. Wolfpack starter Ethan Ogburn had his no-hit attempt broken up in the fifth inning with his team holding a 9-0 lead. UNCG struck for one run in the bottom of the ninth to break up the no-hitter, but that was as much offense as the Spartans could generate on the evening.
• Teammates Trevor Edwards and Chris Barker have been in the line of fire this season as both are in the top-5 in hit by pitches. Edwards currently ranks third in the conference after being hit nine times already, while Barker has been hit on eight different occasions. Last season, Barker finished fourth in the nation after being hit by a pitch 26 times.
• UNCG's sweep of Western Carolina on March 11-13 was the first weekend sweep for the Spartans in Southern Conference play since May of 2008 when UNCG swept College of Charleston. It was also the first time UNCG had swept Western Carolina in a series since 2004 when the Spartans completed the feat on the road.
• On Jan. 19, 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.
• 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.
• 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.
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