UNCG prepared for battle against Davidson in conference showdown
UNCG (18-17, 4-11 SoCon) vs. Davidson (15-19, 6-12 SoCon)
UNCG Baseball Stadium • Greensboro, N.C.
April 20-22, 2012 • Games 36-38 • 6 p.m., 1 p.m., 1 p.m.
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• After dropping its fourth game in a row on Tuesday, UNCG will look to snap the skid as it welcomes Davidson to the confines of UNCG Baseball Stadium for a three-game Southern Conference series that starts on Friday evening at 6 p.m. The final two games of the series will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
• On Tuesday, in a rain-filled evening, Wake Forest downed UNCG, 10-2. Wake Forest's Pat Blair led the way as he reached base six times and drove in two runs on the night. The first four batters reached successfully in the first inning of the contest for the Demon Deacons as they plated three runs in the first inning. UNCG mounted a rally in the fourth inning as Thomas Troelstrup and Cambric Moye hit back-to-back doubles down the left field line to cut the deficit to two, 3-1. Two batters later, Nick Chapman delivered an RBI single to bring the Spartans within one, 3-2. However, that was all the offense that UNCG would muster on the night as Wake Forest rattled off seven unanswered runs. With the Demon Deacons leading 4-2, the skies opened up as the game was halted for 119 minutes due to rain in the sixth inning. However, Wake Forests' bats weren't affected by the delay as it would plate three runs in the sixth inning and two runs in the seventh and eighth inning on the way to a 10-2 victory. UNCG's Brennen James and Wake Forest's Connor Kaden both made their first career start on Tuesday. The teams combined to use 14 pitchers on the night. Kris Richards (12) and Zach Leach (11) extended their respective hitting streaks.
• Richards and Leach are both enjoying career-high hitting streaks. Richards is hitting .372 during his streak and is slugging. 558 and has collected eight RBI. He leads the team in that span with five doubles and is one of five Spartans hit a home run. Leach is hitting .378 (17-for-45) during his streak while slugging .511 and has two three-baggers with six walks.
• UNCG holds a healthy lead in the overall series, 32-24, over Davidson. However, the Wildcats have won four of the last five series between the teams. In the 2011 campaign, UNCG took game one of the series, 8-5 before dropping the final two games, 14-3 and 5-2. The Wildcats was only one of two SoCon teams to take a conference series from the Spartans last season. Davidson will be looking for its first win at UNCG since May 16, 2008 when it dropped the Spartans, 6-2.
• Completely opposite of the Spartans, the Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak that has been highlighted by a no-hitter from freshman Henry Sisson last Friday against Wofford. It was the sixth no-hitter in Davidson history and the first one since Feb. 15, 2001. The Wildcats snapped a four-game losing streak of their own with the 1-0 victory against the Terriers on Friday. The final two games were just as close as the Wildcats swept the Terriers with 5-4 and 2-1 victories. On Tuesday, Davidson used a six-run fifth inning on its way to a 8-4 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in nonconference play.
• UNCG has smoked its opponents in the fifth inning by outscoring the opposition by 20 runs, 39-19, in the inning. However, luck hasn't sided with the Spartans when it comes to the ninth inning as opponents are outscoring UNCG by 10 runs, 26-6, in the frame.
• The Wildcats offense will be paced by Drew Gadaire and Andrew Barna. Both players have started all 34 contests thus far in the 2012 slate. They are one-two on the team in batting average, hits and runs scored. Gadaire is leads the team with a .297 clip and Barna is batting .285 on the year. Gadaire is tied for second on the team with 10 stolen bases while Barna is right on his heels with nine swipes of his own. As a whole, Davidson has stolen 59 bases on the year, which is tied for second to league-leading Appalachian State who has accumulated 72 on the year. Elon has 59 steals as well. Berna and Gadaire are tied for the team lead with 23 RBI and have combined for 16 doubles, four doubles, 99 total bases, 43 runs scored and 31 walks.
• Davidson's Ryan Overcash has logged 58 1/3 innings of work on the season and has a nice walk-to-strike as he has struck out 47 while walking only 13 batters. The Wildcats offense leads the SoCon with 164 walks.
• Like last year, the Spartans are thriving on "small ball" and currently lead the nation with 62 sacrifice bunts on the season. Miami (FL) and Long Beach St. are tied for second with 53 apiece. Moye leads the team with 12 while Richards has nine. Bobby Martin, Christian Wolfe and Troelstrup have chimed in with eight each.
• It has been a tale of two halves for the Spartans in the home run department. UNCG sent 23 balls over the fence in the first half of the season (18 games), but has only collected 10 dingers in its last 17 contests.
• UNCG Baseball will participate in BaseBald, a program of the St. Baldrick's foundation, on Friday, April 20 vs. Davidson. SportClips will be in attendance and shaving heads for the cause. Fans can donate to the St. Baldrick's foundation at the game. A minimum of a $20 donation is required to have your head shaved.
• UNCG has made admission free for all home games this season at UNCG Baseball Stadium. Fans are encouraged to come out and support the Spartans all season long on campus.
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