Spartans to face Duke on Tuesday
UNCG (18-16, 9-6 SoCon) at Duke (20-19, 4-14 ACC)
Jack Coombs Field • Durham, N.C.
April 19, 2011 • Game 35 • 6 p.m.
• UNCG will look to avenge its midweek loss just two weeks ago to Duke on Tuesday as the Spartans travel to Durham to take on the Blue Devils at 6 p.m. at Jack Coombs Field.
• This past weekend, UNCG dropped its final nonconference series of the season to James Madison, 2-1. The Dukes rallied for three runs in the ninth on Friday to tie it at seven before winning the game in 12 innings. The teams played to 12 innings again on Saturday, but this time UNCG came away with the 4-3 victory. It was all James Madison on Sunday as the Dukes put up 21 hits en route to a 17-7 win.
• UNCG trails in the all-time series against Duke, 7-2, dating back to 1999. Two weeks ago, UNCG fell at home to the Blue Devils, 8-6. UNCG took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, but Duke rattled off seven unanswered runs. The Spartans would trim the Duke lead to 7-6 late in the game, but the Blue Devils were able to hang on for the win.
• Duke comes into the game with a 20-19 record overall and a 4-14 mark in the ACC. The Blue Devils were swept this past weekend by No. 1 Virginia and have now lost five of their last six games. Prior to that, Duke had won four of five games.
• Last Tuesday, UNCG hosted Wake Forest in the final game of a home-and-home series with the Deacs this season. UNCG took the early 1-0 lead with a run in the third inning, but Wake Forest rallied back for five runs in the fourth en route to a 10-6 win over the Spartans. The win gave the Demon Deacons the season sweep as they also won back on March 1 in Winston-Salem.
• Teammates Trevor Edwards and Chris Barker have been in the line of fire this season as both are in the top-5 in the SoCon in hit by pitches. Edwards currently is tied for first in the conference after being hit 12 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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