UNCG (21-18, 6-12 SoCon) at Elon (23-20, 13-8 SoCon)
Latham Park • Elon, N.C.
April 27-29, 2012 • Games 40-42 • 6:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m.
• Winners of three straight, including a clubbing of No. 10 North Carolina, UNCG will look to continue its recent success as it travels to Elon, N.C., in the midst of a seven-game road trip, its longest of the season. The Southern Conference series starts Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Latham Park. The two teams will reunite at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday and finish up the series with a 1:30 p.m. start time on Sunday afternoon.
• On Tuesday, UNCG did something it has never done before in beating North Carolina on the road. UNCG mashed out 16 hits on its way to an 8-4 victory. It was the first time the Spartans had defeated a ranked team since knocking off top-ranked North Carolina on April 18, 2006. Redshirt junior Trevor Edwards was nearly unstoppable as he went 5-for-6 from the plate and accounted for three RBI. Edwards hit a frozen rope home run to right field in the ninth and it was the first home run for both the Spartans and Edwards since April 6 against Presbyterian. UNCG took an early 1-0 lead, but found itself trailing 4-1 after one inning of play after some shaky pitching. However, UNCG scored seven unanswered runs and shut out the high-powered Tar Heel offense over the final eight innings. UNCG recorded a hit in every inning but one and all but two starters recorded a hit for the Spartans during the hit parade. Adam Boghosian and Tyler Hollstegge were dominant for the Spartans as the duo combined for eight innings of four-hit shutout ball. Lloyd Enzor, Bobby Martin and TJ Spina enjoyed multi-hit performances, including three from Martin.
• Following his 1-for-5 performance on Tuesday, Zach Leach extended his hitting streak to 15 games. The junior is batting .361 (22-for-61) during the streak and is slugging .492. Leach has seven multi-hit games, including four doubles and two triples, while scoring 11 runs.
• Senior Kris Richards has continued to have an impressive senior season as he leads the team with a .344 batting average. The Garner, N.C., native has ripped 11 doubles on the year to go along with 24 RBI. Richards is tied for second on the team with five home runs and sits in second with 45 hits. The senior also had a 12-game hitting streak earlier in the year and has played in 37 of UNCG's 39 games this year.
• Elon has a comfortable series lead over UNCG, 25-12, including being victorious in 10 of the last 12 meetings. Out of the 37 meetings, the Spartans' pitching staff has allowed 10 or more runs in 14 different instances. UNCG has won three games at Elon in 12 attempts and hasn't won on the road since April 27, 2007, exactly five years prior to this season's first meeting. UNCG took two-of-three against the Phoenix last year in Greensboro. Elon took game one in a pitchers' duel, 1-0. UNCG bounced back to take the final two games 13-9 and 6-5. UNCG is 4-7 on the road this year while Elon enjoys batting in the bottom half of the inning as it is 13-5 at home on the year.
• Completely opposite of the Spartans, Elon has lost three of its last four contests. Last weekend, the Wofford Terriers took two-of-three against the Phoenix. The Terriers downed Elon 11-5 in game one in Spartanburg, S.C. Elon bounced back in grand fashion with a 17-hit performance as it trounced Wofford 13-3 in game two. However, Wofford's Cash Collins stymied the Phoenix with eight innings of two-hit shutout ball as Wofford took the rubber match 2-0. On Wednesday, Elon traveled to UNCW and fell 7-5.
• UNCG has smoked its opponents in the fourth and fifth innings by outscoring the opposition by 34 runs, 76-42. However, luck hasn't sided with the Spartans when it comes to the ninth inning as opponents are outscoring UNCG by 19 runs, 26-7, in the frame.
• The Phoenix is a well-rounded squad as it sits second in the conference with 63 stolen bases and has grounded into the least amount of double plays in the SoCon with 14. Elon is no stranger to close games as it leads the conference with 13 saves. The offense will be led by Alex Swim, who leads the team with a .352 batting average. Swim has had a 25-game hitting streak in the 2012 campaign and won SoCon Player of the Week on April 2 for his offensive accolades as he sits third in the SoCon with 62 hits on the year. He leads the team with six sacrifice flies while striking out only nine times in 176 at-bats. Garrett Koster brings some pop into the lineup as he has launched nine homers on the years to complement his team-high 13 doubles and 31 RBI. Niko Fraser and Koster are tied for the team lead with 10 stolen bases each.
• Elon's Spencer Medick leads the pitching staff with a 2.81 ERA in eight starts on the season. Medick has accumulated 51 1/3 innings of work and allowed only 18 walks compared to his 29 strikeouts. Nate Young will man the bullpen as he leads the team with five saves and has allowed only five runs on the year with batters hitting .230 against him.
• Like last year, the Spartans are thriving on "small ball" and currently lead the nation with 67 sacrifice bunts on the season. Long Beach St. is second with 62. Cambric Moye leads the team with 13 while Richards and Martin each have nine. Christian Wolfe and Thomas 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 11 dingers in its last 21 contests.
- UNCG -