UNCG heads to The Citadel for pivotal three-game set
UNCG (18-13, 4-8 SoCon) at The Citadel (13-21, 4-8 SoCon)
Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park • Charleston, S.C.
April 13-15, 2012 • Games 32-34 • 6 p.m., 2 p.m., 1 p.m.
• After enjoying the friendly confines of UNCG Baseball Stadium in 23 of its 31 games this season, UNCG will be on the road for 10 of its next 15 games. UNCG will travel to The Citadel for an important three-game Southern Conference series in a battle for the eighth place at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, S.C. starting at 6 p.m. on Friday. Saturday's game will start at 2 p.m. and Sunday's game will commence at 1 p.m.
• On Tuesday, UNCG rallied for a come-from-behind victory for the second game in a row as it defeated Duke, 4-3, in Durham, N.C. All but two Spartan starters recorded a hit and four UNCG players notched an RBI. After both teams scored their first runs thanks via sacrifice flies, Duke scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to take a 3-1 lead. However, UNCG would score a run in the sixth inning thanks to an RBI triple from Cole Harrison to cut the deficit in half and make the score, 3-2. Following an RBI single from Trevor Edwards, Spartans' Lloyd Enzor lofted a sacrifice fly to right field for the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh. UNCG's bullpen was marvelous as it threw 4 1/3 innings of one-hit shutout ball. The pitching staff as a whole had 10 strikeouts on the day.
• Redshirt junior Enzor has put together a solid season thus far as he has sent five balls out of the ballpark and amassed 20 RBI, which is fourth-best on the team. The Whiteville, N.C., native is second on the team with three sacrifice flies and is tied for second on the team with 21 runs scored. He sits third with 117 at-bats on the year and eight doubles. While batting .274, Enzor is fourth with 32 hits and 55 total bases.
• Chapel Hill, N.C., native Lee Gilliam has proved to be lethal over the last 10 games. The freshman is 1-0 with a 0.77 era and has gathered a save. During the stretch, he has tossed 11 2/3 innings and has allowed only one extra base hit. Opponents have tallied only eight hits off of him and have only scored one run. Gilliam has struck out six batters while the opposition is hitting a bleak .200 off of him.
• The Citadel leads the overall series, 28-23, over UNCG. However, UNCG has won three of the last four series between the two teams including a three-game sweep last year. In May 2011, UNCG won the first two by identical 5-1 scores before winning the finale in a slugfest, 12-11. The Bulldogs are seeking their first win against UNCG since May 16, 2010, when The Citadel finished off a sweep of its own with a 3-1 victory.
• The Bulldogs are in the midst of a brutal stretch playing eight games in nine days. This week, the Bulldogs have dropped a pair of games to in-state rivals South Carolina and Coastal Carolina. On Tuesday, South Carolina pitched a shutout and defeated the Bulldogs 8-0. On Wednesday, Coastal Carolina defeated The Citadel in a 6-2 decision. Last weekend, the Bulldogs dropped the first two games in a Southern Conference series to Samford, 10-5 and 11-3. However, The Citadel salvaged a win and avoided the sweep with a 5-4 victory on Saturday afternoon.
• UNCG has smoked its opponents in the fifth inning by outscoring the opposition by 22 runs, 36-14, 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 Bulldogs' offense will be led by Justin Mackert. Mackert leads the team in almost every statistical category and has started all 34 contests this season. He leads the team with a .301 batting average, 23 runs scored, 40 hits, 10 doubles, four home runs, 24 RBI, 64 total bases, 10 stolen bases and a .481 slugging percentage. He has been nearly flawless in the field as he has only committed one error on the season.
• Like last year, the Spartans are thriving on "small ball" and currently lead the nation with 57 sacrifice bunts on the season. Cambric Moye leads the team with 12 while Christian Wolfe and Kris Richards have eight. Bobby Martin and Thomas Troelstrup have chimed in with seven each.
• Through the first 31 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 31 contests.
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