UNCG (12-8, 2-4 SoCon) at Western Carolina (15-6, 2-1 SoCon)
Childress Field/Hennon Stadium • Cullowhee, N.C.
March 23-25, 2012 • Games 21-23 • 5 p.m., 2 p.m., 1 p.m.
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• UNCG will hit the road for the second consecutive weekend to play the Western Carolina Catamounts in a three-game Southern Conference series. The two teams will face off at 5 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. The games will be played at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium.
• On Wednesday, UNCG stepped out of conference for a game against the Princeton Tigers, picking up the 6-3 win at the UNCG Baseball Stadium. Princeton struck first with a two-run home run from Sam Mulroy in the top half of the first inning. UNCG responded with a two-run shot of its own from SoCon home run co-leader Trevor Edwards. TJ Spina delivered the go-ahead RBI in the bottom of the second with an RBI single. Thomas Troelstrup hit his fourth bomb of the year in the bottom of the fifth to put the Spartans up 5-2. UNCG used six pitchers in the game and they allowed only four hits. Eric Kalbfleisch picked up his first career win and Brennan James collected his second save on the season.
• The 2012 campaign for Edwards, a redshirt junior has been quite impressive as he is tied for first in the Southern Conference with nine home runs and sits third with a slugging percentage of .712. He leads the team in total bases (52), third on the team in hits (21) and is second on the team in RBI (18).
• Last weekend, UNCG hit the road for the first time on the year as it headed to Georgia Southern. Following a two-hour lightning delay, action finally got under way. Kris Richards lead off the game with a solo blast, but Georgia Southern would storm back to take game one, 8-3. Game two turned into a slugfest as the teams combined for 22 runs and five home runs as UNCG won 12-9. It was the Spartans' first victory in Statesboro since the 2004 season. The rubber match was a see-saw battle as Georgia Southern survived a late rally to hold on for a 6-5 victory.
• Western Carolina will be led by the quartet of Aaron Attaway, Ross Heffley, Tyler White and Jacob Hoyle. The four have combined for 71 of the team's 128 RBI and 115 of the team's 146 hits. Also, they've combined for 25 doubles, 41 walks, 14 stolen bases and a batting average of .353.
• Outscoring their opponents 86-35, the Catamounts are a perfect 9-0 at home this season while hitting for a .378 batting average compared to the .232 mark of their competition.
• Morgan McKinney leads the Catamounts' pitching staff with a sparkling 2.45 era and has accumulated 23 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings on the year while opponents are hitting a dismal .202 against him. Closer Preston Hatcher leads the team with five saves and has collected three victories on the season while striking out 21 batters and allowing only two runs in 19 1/3 innings.
• Like last year, the Spartans are thriving on "small ball," leading the nation with 38 sacrifice bunts. Cambric Moye leads the Spartans with eight.
• For his performance against UNC Asheville and Penn State, Troelstrup was named the SoCon Player of the Week on Feb. 27. He hit .500 (9-18) for the week as he hit three doubles and one home run. He also added seven RBI and five runs scored.
• With home runs from Edwards and Troelstrup Wednesday, UNCG has hit 25 home runs on the year, which surpasses last year's season total of 23 and is currently best in the conference. Seven different players have gone yard for the Spartans on the season.
• 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.
- UNCG -