UNCG to open SoCon play at home against Samford
UNCG (9-3, 0-0 SoCon) vs. Samford (9-4, 0-0 SoCon)
UNCG Baseball Stadium • Greensboro, N.C.
March 9-11, 2012 • Games 13-15 • 6 p.m., 1 p.m., 1 p.m.
• The Spartans will begin Southern Conference play this weekend as UNCG hosts Samford for a three-game series beginning on Friday. The two teams will meet at 6 p.m. on Friday at the UNCG Baseball Stadium and will meet again on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. each afternoon.
• This week, UNCG hosted Eastern Kentucky for a pair of midweek contests. The Spartans won on Tuesday, 7-5, against the Colonels as Thomas Troelstrup went 2-4 with three RBI. On Wednesday, UNCG battled back from a 5-1 deficit to tie the game at 5 in the seventh inning, but the Spartans ended up losing in 10 innings, 6-5. Lloyd Enzor had a great game on Wednesday as he went 3-5 with two home runs and four RBI.
• Redshirt junior Trevor Edwards has been leading the Spartans at the plate in the early part of the season. He is currently tied for the lead in the Southern Conference in home runs (7) and leads the league in slugging percentage (.889). He is also second in total bases (40) and fourth in RBI with 14, to go along with his .333 batting average.
• Last weekend, the Spartans' dropped two of three games to Radford. The Highlanders took game on 7-3 and UNCG came back to even the series by winning on Saturday 7-4. Radford took the rubber game on Sunday 7-3 to win the series. It marked the first time since April 15-17 of last season that UNCG had lost a weekend series.
• Coming into the week, the Spartans rank in the top-10 in numerous categories nationally. The Spartans are third in the nation in slugging percentage (.539) and ninth in OPS (.935). The 16 home runs this season also ranks fifth nationally and UNCG is currently second nationally for sacrifice bunts with 23.
• On Feb. 24-26, UNCG hosted Big Ten foe Penn State for a three-game series. The Spartans took the first game on Friday 10-7 and then clinched the series with an 8-3 victory on Saturday. UNCG completed the weekend sweep on Sunday with a 6-0 win as four pitchers combined for a two-hit shutout.
• After the weekend sweep against Penn State, UNCG moved its overall record to a perfect 7-0. It marked the first time since 2003 that the Spartans have begun the season with seven wins. That year the team began the year 12-0, which is the best start in school history.
• For his performance against UNC Asheville and Penn State, UNCG's Thomas 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.
• Through the first three weeks of the season, the Spartans have already hit 19 home runs. Trevor Edwards leads the way with seven home runs, while Kris Richards and Thomas Troelstrup have three apiece. UNCG is well on its way to surpass the 23 home runs that the team hit during the 2011 season.
• On Feb. 21, 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.
• On opening weekend, UNCG began 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.
• 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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