UNCG (4-0) vs. Penn State (1-2)
UNCG Baseball Stadium • Greensboro, N.C.
Feb. 24-26, 2012 • Games 5-7 • 4 p.m., 1 p.m., 1 p.m.
• UNCG will look to keep its perfect record intact this weekend as it hosts Penn State for a three-game series this weekend. The Spartans and Nittany Lions will meet on Friday at 4 p.m. at the UNCG Baseball Stadium before facing off on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
• On Tuesday, UNCG hosted UNC Asheville for its first midweek game of the season. The Spartans jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind a two-run home run from Trevor Edwards. The Bulldogs would tie the game at 3-3 the next half inning, but UNCG was able to use a six-run fourth inning to cruise to a 13-5 victory.
• After Tuesday's win against UNC Asheville, UNCG moved its overall record to a perfect 4-0. It marked the first time since 2005 that the Spartans have begun the season with four wins.
• Through the first four games of the season, the Spartans have already hit 10 home runs. Trevor Edwards leads the way with three home runs, while Kris Richards and Zach Leach each have two apiece. UNCG is well on its way to surpass the 23 home runs that the team hit during the 2011 season.
• Last weekend, UNCG opened the 2012 seasons with three wins over visiting Delaware State. Tyler Hollstegge pitched five innings of scoreless one-hit ball on Friday and got plenty of support at the plate as the Spartans cruised to a 13-0 win. On Saturday, the Spartans and Hornets played a doubleheader and UNCG had to use a walk-off single by Christian Wolfe to win the first game 5-4. The second game was much easier as the Spartans had a three-hit shutout going into the ninth inning of the 13-1 victory.
• The Spartans and Nittany Lions have never met all-time in school history. Last season, Penn State went 32-22 and made its first postseason appearance since 2008. Last weekend, the Nittany Lions went 1-2 at the Big East/Big Ten Challenge in St. Petersburg, Fla. Penn State lost to Seton Hall and West Virginia before defeating Cincinnati in the final game of the weekend.
• Prior to the season, UNCG was picked to finish fifth in the SoCon this season by the media and seventh by the head coaches in the league in the annual preseason poll. Trevor Edwards, who earned first-team All-SoCon accolades as a sophomore in 2011, was named to the SoCon preseason All-SoCon squad this season as a catcher, as well.
• UNCG will welcome 17 newcomers to the team this season to help add some depth to the lineup. Of the 17 newcomers, nine of them are pitchers, which will help a pitching staff that was depleted due to graduation and the draft. Two of the new pitchers, Corey Taylor and Max Povse will be inserted immediately into the weekend rotation. Povse was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school, but chose to come to UNCG instead of signing with the team.
• Following the 2011 season, junior Jarett Miller was drafted in the 21st round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft by the Atlanta Braves. Miller signed with the Braves a few weeks after being drafted and ended his season with the Rome Braves. UNCG has now had at least one pitcher drafted in 13 of the past 15 seasons.
• The Spartans will look to replace a majority of their pitching staff in 2012 after losing their top five pitchers from a season ago. The staff lost 345 1/3 innings of the 496 1/3 innings (69.6%) pitched in 2011. Some of the notable losses include first-team All-SoCon selection Warren Slack, who later signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Padres, and Jarett Miller who was drafted in the 21st round by the Atlanta Braves. UNCG also lost starter Colby Hyatt who led the team with eight wins and a 3.43 ERA.
• In addition to winning 15 of its final 16 regular-season games in 2011, UNCG has had one of its most successful seasons in school history. The 22 league wins tied the school record for the most SoCon wins in a season that was set back in 1998, which was the Spartans' first season in the conference. The 34 overall wins was also the most since 2003.
• Head coach Mike Gaski was honored as the 2011 Southern Conference Coach of the Year after leading UNCG to a second place finish in the regular season. It was the fourth time in his career that Gaski has been named coach of the year. Also in 2011, Gaski won his 600th career game after a 10-9 win over Delaware on Feb. 19.
• UNCG had a lot of success last season playing "small ball". The Spartans were second in the nation with 89 sacrifice bunts, which was 29 more than any other team in the Southern Conference. UNCG also did it on the base paths as they were 47-57 (82.5%) on stolen base attempts and ranked 21st nationally with a .975 fielding percentage.
• The Spartans ended the regular season of 2011 in style as they swept Wofford in the series. They won the first game 5-0 and swept the doubleheader 5-0 and 15-0. It marked the first time since 1994 that a Southern Conference team has shut out another conference opponent in a weekend series when Georgia Southern did it to Furman.
• 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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