Bucs begin run for A-Sun Title Wednesday in DeLand
Play Video Listen to comments from Coach Skole before the Bucs head down to DeLand.
Listen to comments from Coach Skole before the Bucs head down to DeLand.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ETSU, Stetson kickoff Baseball Championship at 10 a.m.

DeLAND Fla. (May 21, 2013) – After picking up its fourth series sweep to conclude the regular season last weekend versus Jacksonville, the ETSU baseball team begins postseason play Wednesday morning when the fourth-seeded Bucs take on host and fifth seed Stetson. First pitch is set for 10 a.m., at Melching Field.

ETSU earned the number four seed after finishing the regular season with a record of 32-22, 17-10. The 32 wins are tied for the fifth most in program history, while the 17 conference victories are the most since winning 18 games in 1999.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS

- The Bucs finished off the regular season by picking up their sixth straight home win after sweeping a three-game conference series over Jacksonville, marking the second time ETSU has swept the Dolphins.

- Senior catcher Mason Hershey (Altoona, Pa.) lifted the Blue and Gold to a walk-off win in game two, when his double to right field plated the game-winning run in the 3-2 12-inning victory. On Senior Day, Hershey registered a pair of doubles, scored two runs and drove in a pair, while sophomore Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) had three RBI and freshman Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) belted his second home run of the season as the Bucs capped off the sweep with an 11-4 win.

- Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) set the tone for the weekend as he earned his 12th win of the season and tossed his NCAA-best 11th complete game in a 3-2 win on Thursday night. Doane became the first A-Sun pitcher to reach the 12-win mark since former Stetson Hatter and current Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber and former Buccaneer Caleb Glafenhein (2004-07) accomplished the feat in 2007. The senior right-hander also tied the ETSU single-season mark for complete games, tying him with Matt Baber (1999-2000).

- As a staff, the Buccaneer pitchers generated a 1.20 ERA (4 ER/30.0 IP) and held the Dolphins to a .204 batting average (21-103) on the weekend. Sophomore Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) tossed seven innings and was charged with two unearned runs on Friday night, while junior lefty Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) pitched five scoreless innings and tied a career high with six strikeouts to earn the win.

ABOUT STETSON

- The Hatters were swept at Florida Gulf Coast last weekend and enter the tournament, 26-29, 15-12.

- Twenty of Stetson’s 26 wins came at home and the Hatters have won seven of their last 11 games at Melching Field since taking the series over ETSU back in late April.

- Freshman first baseman Patrick Mazeika finished the regular season with the highest batting average in the A-Sun with a .392 clip (80-204), while junior left-hander Austin Perez went 7-2 with a 2.95 ERA (27 ER/82.1 IP). Perez’s seven wins were tied for sixth in the conference and he ranked tenth in ERA.

- In conference only games, Perez went 5-1 with a 2.66 ERA (18 ER/61.0 IP) in nine starts, and Mazeika hit .439 (43-98) with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, 21 runs scored and 21 RBI.

SERIES VS. STETSON  

- The Hatters lead the all-time series, 18-9, and Stetson has won eight of the last ten in the series, including taking two of three from the Bucs back on April 19-21 in DeLand.

- ETSU’s pitchers posted a 3.24 ERA (9 ER/25.0 IP) in this year’s series, but the Blue and Gold offense hit just .221 (21-95) and scored six runs. Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) and Alex Reynolds (Johnson City, Tenn.) both hit .364 (4-11), while Doane tossed one of his 11 complete games against the Hatters. The senior hurler held Stetson to two runs on eight hits in nine innings of work as the Bucs won, 3-2, back on April 19 in DeLand. Despite being tied at three after seven innings of play in game two, Stetson scored four runs in the eighth to even the series with a 7-3 victory, and the Hatters handed ETSU its first shutout of the season in the rubber match, 2-0.

- Senior Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) is hitting .362 (21-58) with six doubles, five runs scored and five RBI in 13 games played against Stetson, while Reynolds is 8-for-19 (.421) in his last six games against the Hatters.

- Wednesday marks the fourth meeting between the two programs in the A-Sun Tournament with Stetson taking two of the previous three games. The Hatters knocked the Blue and Gold out of the 2006 and 2011 tournaments and ETSU’s only postseason win over Stetson was a 4-2 decision in 2009.

PITCHING MATCHUP

- ETSU will go with senior right-hander Kerry Doane (12-1, 2.07) and Stetson counters with junior southpaw Austin Perez (7-2, 2.95).

- Doane earned the Bucs’ lone win in the series back in April as he helped guide the Blue and Gold to a 3-2 win in the series opener. Meanwhile, Perez earned a no-decision in his start as he was charged with three runs (two earned) on five hits in 6.1 innings as the lefty started the second game of the series. 

ETSU’S CHAMPIONSHIP POD

- Top-seeded Mercer (42-14, 20-7) and eighth-seeded USC Upstate (26-28, 9-18) are the other teams in the Bucs’ pod. The Bears and Spartans follow the ETSU/Stetson game at 1:15 p.m. The two winning teams in the pod will play Thursday at 5 p.m., and the two losing teams play at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

- The tournament is a double-elimination format and the winning teams of each pod will advance to the championship. If both teams are undefeated, then one championship game will be played on Sunday, May 26 at 1 p.m., on ESPN3, while the “if necessary” game is scheduled should a one-loss team advance to the championship. Click here for a full breakdown of the bracket.

COVERAGE

- Each game of the championship will air live for free on ASun.TV, while the ETSU games will also be broadcast on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster. Live Stats will also be offered for the championship via Stat Broadcast.

A-SUN CHAMPIONSHIP TICKET INFO

Championship passes start at $45, and single day passes start at $15. Call (386) 738-4287 or visit AtlanticSun.org/Baseball for more info.

TEXTCASTER

ETSU fans wanting to receive Buccaneer news, score updates, in-game promotions and much more sent to their mobile device can do so by signing up for “Buc Updates.” Click here to sign up today!

For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.

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