UNCG (17-13, 4-8 SoCon) at Duke (13-20, 5-10 ACC)
Jack Coombs Field • Durham, N.C.
April 10, 2012 • Game 31 • 6 p.m.
• UNCG will remain out of conference as it travels to Durham, N.C., to battle with the Duke Blue Devils at Jack Coombs Field on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
• Over the weekend, UNCG welcomed Presbyterian for a three-game series in nonconference action. With the threat of rain in the area on Thursday, the teams decided to play a doubleheader on Friday. On Friday, UNCG used some late-inning heroics thanks to a game-tying home run from redshirt junior Trevor Edwards in the bottom of the ninth inning. Bobby Martin scored on an error in the bottom of the 10th to give the Spartans the 7-6 victory in game one. In the back end of the doubleheader, the Blue Hose's Chandler Knox bedazzled Spartan hitters as he retired 11 of 12 batters at one point in the game. Knox tossed six strong innings while scattering five hits and allowing one run, which was a no-doubt home run off the bat of Lloyd Enzor. The Blue Hose would take game two by a 5-2 score. On Saturday, Corey Taylor and Presbyterian's Beau Dees each took no-hitters into the fifth inning. The Blue Hose would score first thanks to back-to-back doubles and would grab a 1-0 lead. UNCG responded in the bottom of the sixth with five consecutive base hits - four for extra bases - and plated four runs to grab a 4-1 lead. Sophomore Dylan Hathcock pitched three scoreless innings in relief to bag his second save of the year as UNCG took the rubber match, 4-1. The series victory was the first since UNCG swept Penn State, Feb. 24-26.
• Senior Bobby Martin has made his presence felt in the starting lineup as UNCG is 10-2 when he starts. The Redondo Beach, Calif., native missed 14 games due to an injury, but has collected two multi-hit games since he has returned. On the season, Martin is batting .286 and has only struck out five times in 42 at-bats. He is second on the team with four stolen bases and a .412 on-base percentage. He is fourth with six sacrifice bunts. Martin has played errorless defense on the year and has 39 putouts.
• Senior Zach Furl thrives in nonconference action as he has a sparkling 1.17 era in 12 appearances. He has collected two saves and struck out seven batters. Opponents are hitting a dismal .120 against him through 7 2/3 innings of work as he has allowed only three hits and one run in games outside of the SoCon.
• Duke leads the overall series, 7-3, against UNCG. The teams split two games in the 2011 season, with the road team winning each game. The Blue Devils took the first game, 8-6, in Greensboro in a game that UNCG led until the sixth. Duke put up six runs in the sixth and added an insurance run in the ninth. The Spartans returned the favor by rallying from two runs down to take the game, 5-4, in Durham. Duke led 4-2 going into the seventh inning, but UNCG scored three unanswered runs to secure the victory.
• Over the weekend, Duke was swept by ACC foe Clemson. On Friday, the Blue Devils and Tigers were in a pitchers' duel as the game went into extra innings tied at 1. However, the Tigers plated three runs in the top of the 11th to take game one by a 4-1 score. On Saturday, Clemson's offense proved too much as it scored 11 runs in an 11-5 victory in game two. The Tigers finished the sweep by battering the Blue Devil bullpen for four runs in the decisive eighth inning on their way to a 4-2 victory.
• UNCG has faced two ACC opponents this year. The Spartans hosted North Carolina on March 13 and dropped the 5-1 decision. UNCG's game against Wake Forest was canceled in the bottom of the third inning after rain pounded the area on April 3. The Blue Devils are 0-4 against Southern Conference opponents this season with a pair of losses coming at the hands of SoCon leader Appalachian State.
• UNCG has smoked its opponents in the fifth inning by outscoring the opposition by 24 runs, 36-12, in the inning. However, luck hasn't sided with the Spartans when it comes to the ninth inning as opponents are outscoring UNCG by 14 runs, 20-6, in the frame.
• The Blue Devils offense will be led by Will Piwnica-Worms. He has started in all 33 of Duke's contests. He leads the team with 125 at-bats, three triples, three home runs, 22 RBI, 62 total bases, 17 walks and a .496 slugging percentage. Piwnica-Worms is second on the team with 38 hits and three sacrifice flies. He is tied for second with 18 runs scored, nine doubles, and four stolen bases and sits third on the team with a .304 batting average.
• Like last year, the Spartans are thriving on "small ball" and currently lead the nation with 55 sacrifice bunts on the season. Cambric Moye leads the team with 11 while Christian Wolfe and Kris Richards have eight and Thomas Troelstrup has chimed in with seven.
• Through the first 30 games of the season, the Spartans have already hit 33 home runs, which surpass last year's total of 23. Edwards leads the way with 12 home runs. UNCG has sent a ball over the fence in 18 of its 30 contests.
- UNCG -