Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Citadel (Weekend Baseball Series in Charleston)


Who: The Citadel
When: Thursday, March 28 thru Saturday, March 30, 2024
Time: Thursday 6:00 pm; Friday 5 pm; Saturday 1:00 pm
Where: Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park, Charleston, SC
TV/video:  Thur. - ESPN+;  Friday -  ESPN+ ; Saturday -  ESPN+
Live StatsCitadel Live Stats
Nickname: Bulldogs
Colors: Blue and White

Head Coach: Tony Skole, a Citadel Athletics Hall of Famer,  enters his sixth season as the Bulldogs’ head coach. In returning to his alma mater, Skole has been tasked with returning the Bulldog program back to one of the top teams in the Southern Conference and restoring the Bulldog’s Championship Tradition. Solidifying his program’s foundation has been his immediate priority, and this began with reestablishing the brand of Citadel Baseball. He enters the 2024 season with an overall head coaching record of 668-779-1 and a 102-184 record in his sixth season at The Citadel

The Series: The Cats own an 98-70 overall record vs. the Bulldogs, in a series that started in 1971. The Cats are 37-41 in games played in Charleston, but is 8-2 in the last ten games played. The Cats were 2-1 in the series played in Cullowhee last season.

Current record:  15-8 overall,  14-4 home, 1-4 away, 0-0 neutral, 0-3 SoCon.  
The Citadel was selected 8th in preseason poll voting, and SP Sam Swygert, Jr; RP Will Holmes, So.; and SS Sawyer Reeves, Jr. received preseason all conference honors. In conference play, Javier Crespo ranks seventh in the conference with a .407 batting average and eighth with 33 hits. Thomas Rollauer and Anthony Hausner are tied for third in the conference with eight doubles. Wells Sykes and Thomas Rollauer are tied for second with three triples. Ben Hutchins is fifth in the conference with an ERA of 3.46 and sixth with opposing batting averages of .237.

The Bulldogs are coming off a three game sweep by Wofford in Spartanburg, SC, however they beat CSU in a Tuesday midweek game, 4-0.  Joe Riley Park is the site of 18 of The Citadel’s 23 games this season, with a record of 14-4. The Bulldogs haven’t left South Carolina this season, leaving the Charleston area for just four games – a 7-1 midweek loss at then-No. 21 South Carolina at Columbia and dropping all three games of their SoCon-opening Upstate series at Wofford over the weekend. The Citadel snapped a second three-game losing streak of the season on Tuesday, cruising to a 4-0 victory over Lowcountry rival Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs scored everything they needed in the first four frames, limiting the Buccaneers to four base hits en route to their third win in four scheduled games with their Charleston neighbor. 

The Catamounts enter the week leading the league in home runs with 35, trailing only Samford (41) and The Citadel (19). WCU ranks 17th nationally in home runs per game. The Catamounts are also third in the conference in doubles with 49. On the defensive end, WCU has turned a SoCon-best 23 double plays. That’s four more than the second-place Citadel (19). The Catamounts also lead the SoCon in double plays with 18 and have a league-leading 65 assists. Individual statistics Nate Stocum leads the league with 12 home runs. He also has the second-highest slugging percentage (.790) and ranks fifth in the league in RBI (30). Transfer middle infielder, Trent Turner, leads the conference in hits (37) including 8 doubles, which is tied for third-most.

Projected starting pitchers:

Thursday, March 28 | 6 p.m. 
WCU: RHP Gavin Mortenson (9 app., 3 GS – 0-1, 4.08 ERA, 17.2 IP, 20 K, 12 BB)
The Citadel: RHP Sam Swygert (6 app., 6 GP – 3-0, 5.28 ERA, 29.0 IP, 20 K, 12 BB)

Friday, March 29 | 5 p.m. 
WCU: RHP Davis Budd (6 app., 1 GS – 0-0, 5.06 ERA, 10.2 IP, 11 K, 6 BB)
The Citadel: RHP Landon Slemp (6 app., 6 GS – 2-2, 6.19 ERA, 32.0 IP, 20 K, 14 BB)

Saturday, March 30 | 1 p.m. 
The Citadel: RHP Ben Hutchins (9 app., 1 GS – 3-2, 3.46 ERA, 26.0 IP, 19 K, 5 BB)

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Cats Look To Sweep Harvard In Cullowhee

WCU swept both ends of Saturday's doubleheader with Harvard, as  Catamount pitching combined for 13 strikeouts in a 2-hitter in the series opener, before the offense erupted for 10 runs in the 8th inning to complete the sweep and take game two, 19-12. 

Trent Turner collected a team-high four hits over the doubleheader, including a double and a home run, for a total of 10 RBI. Nate Stocum also homered twice in the doubleheader, one per game, to go along with his 5 runs scored and 5 RBI. Stocum got on base 7 times between the doubleheader and the doubleheader, with three walks and an extra-base hit.

In the first game of the series between Western Carolina and Harvard, Nate Stocum hit a three-run home run in a four-run third inning to give Western Carolina a 4-2 lead in the series opener. The Catamount pitching staff combined for 13 K's in a 2-hitter in the win.

The Catamounts came back from a three-run deficit in the home half of the eighth inning to beat Harvard 19-12 in game two of Saturday's twin bill sweep. WCU plated five runs in the first four innings and then went on to score 14 runs between the seventh and the eighth frames. The Catamounts’ 19 runs were their most since scoring 19 in last May’s 19-7 home victory over UNC Asheville. This marks the third time WCU has scored double-digit runs this spring – and the second in three games – after pushing across 18 runs in an 8-inning victory over Western Michigan last Sunday.

The final game of the three-game series will be played on Sunday with an early 11:00 a.m. start to accommodate Harvard’s schedule. The game will be aired on ESPN+and live stats can be found by following the link on the official Catamount Sports website.

Game #1

Game #2

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Harvard (Weekend Series)


Who: Harvard Crimson
When: Friday, March 15  -  Sunday, March 17, 2024
Times: Fri. 4:00 pm; Sat. 2:00 pm (updated); Sun. 11:00 am
Where: Childress Field, Cullowhee, NC
      -announcer: Daniel Hooker (PxP)
Live Stats:  WCU Live Stats
Conference: Ivy League
Nickname: Crimson
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Colors: Crimson, white, and black
Students: 21,613

Last season's record: 20-24 overall, 9-5 home, 9-15 away, 2-4 neutral, 15-6 conference
This season:  2-8 overall, 0-0 home, 1-6 away, 1-2 neutral, 0-0 conference

Head Coach:  Bill Decker was introduced as the Joseph J. O'Donnell ’67 Head Coach for Harvard Baseball on September 26, 2012. He will enter his 12th season at the helm of the Crimson during the 2023-24 academic year following a 22-year tenure at Trinity in which he won a national championship in 2008 and earned induction into the Trinity Athletics Hall of Fame in 2023.

Series History:  This will be the first meeting between the two teams.

Harvard will play in Johnson City on Wednesday, before the series in Cullowhee.   Harvard University baseball was selected to finish third in the 2024 Ivy League Baseball Preseason Media Poll.  Harvard returned key hitters to its lineup from the 2023 season, including junior George Cooper (.333 average, 13 doubles), senior Jake Berger (.292 average, 32 RBIs), senior Ben Rounds (.290 average, 33 RBIs), and senior Peter Messervy (.280 average, 16 doubles).

On the mound, Harvard brings back junior right-hander Sean Matson – the Most Outstanding Relief Pitcher award winner in the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2023 – and sophomore right-hander Callan Fang – the 2023 Ivy League Rookie of the Year.

In 2023, the Crimson gained a berth in the inaugural Ivy League Tournament, securing the No. 2 seed behind a 15-6 Ivy League record, marking Harvard's most Ivy League wins since 2005. The Crimson captured six of its seven Ivy League series during the regular season.

Harvard baseball fell to East Tennessee State University, 14-4, on Wednesday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.

Monday, March 4, 2024

SoCon MBB Power Ranking (3-4-24)

Welcome to Purple & Gold's 2024 SoCon Men's Basketball Power Rankings

This is the Monday, March 4, 2024, SoCon Basketball Power Rankings. 

Last week's ranking in parentheses. 

   1. (1) Samford
   2. (2) UNCG
   3. (5) Western Carolina
   4. (3) Chattanooga  
   5. (6) Wofford
   6. (4) Furman 
   7. (8) ETSU                  
   8. (7) Mercer
   9. (9) The Citadel 
 10. (10) VMI

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Scanning the SoCon (Saturday March 2, 2024)

 Saturday March 2, 2024  

Today's Results....

Wofford 74 - VMI 62    Corey Tripp led Wofford to a 74-62 victory over VMI on Saturday with 17 points. Tripp also grabbed five rebounds for the Terriers. Kyler Filewich contributed 15 points, shooting 7 of 11 from the field and 1 for 3 from the line, along with six rebounds and six assists. Dillon Bailey scored 11 points, making 2 of 8 shots and 1 for 7 from 3-point range, while going 6 for 8 from the line. Taeshaud Jackson led the Keydets (4-27, 1-17) with 22 points, 12 rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Tyran Cook added 13 points for VMI. VMI's losing streak extended to 12 games.

Mercer 82 - Furman 75   Jalyn McCreary led Mercer to an 82-75 victory over Furman, scoring 21 points. McCreary also contributed five rebounds to the Bears' win. David Thomas made two 3-pointers and ended the game with 18 points and six assists. Caleb Hunter added 14 points with two 3-pointers. On the other hand, Furman, with a record of 16-15 (10-8), was paced by JP Pegues who tallied 19 points and eight assists. Pjay Smith Jr. chipped in with 17 points and six rebounds, while Marcus Foster finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Western Carolina 82 - Chattanooga 63    Western Carolina's Vonterius Woolbright finished with a triple-double, Tre Jackson added 20 points and as the Catamounts beat Chattanooga 82-63 on Saturday. Woolbright scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to go with 10 assists. Jackson shot 7 for 13, including 6 for 9 from beyond the arc for WCU (22-9, 11-7 SoCon). Russell Jones was 6-of-11 shooting to finish with 15 points.  Honor Huff led the way for the Mocs, with 16 points. Jan Zidek and Tyler Millin scored 13 points apiece.

The Citadel 80 - Samford 92    In Samford's victory over The Citadel on Saturday night, Achor Achor contributed 21 points to the Bulldogs' 92-80 win.  Achor displayed impressive shooting accuracy, going 7-of-12 from the field and a perfect 7 of 7 from the free-throw line. Nathan Johnson also made significant impact, scoring 18 points by shooting 4 for 7 (including 3 for 6 from 3-point range) and converting 7 of 10 free throws. Dallas Graziani added 11 points, shooting 4-of-6 (with 3 for 5 from 3-point range). Quentin Millora-Brown had a double-double performance with 16 points and 11 rebounds. AJ Smith contributed 15 points for The Citadel, while Colby McAllister scored 14 points as well.

ETSU 66 - UNCG 65     ETSU secured a 66-65 win over UNCG on Saturday, thanks to Jaden Seymour's 18 points and Quimari Peterson's go-ahead layup with only four seconds remaining. Seymour contributed six rebounds, while Peterson recorded 14 points and five assists. Ebby Asamoah made two 3-pointers and scored 14 points as well. On the other side, Keyshaun Langley led the Spartans with 25 points, followed by Donovan Atwell with 18 points.

Friday, March 1, 2024

Game #31 - at Chattanooga Mocs (the rematch)


Who: Chattanooga Mocs
Where: McKenzie Arena
When: Saturday, February 2, 2024
Time: 2 pm
RadioCatamount Sports Network
Live StatsLive Stats
Enrollment: 11,400
Nickname: Mocs
Colors: Blue and Gold

Head Coach: Dan Earl - Earl came to Chattanooga after a 7-year stint leading the VMI Keydets

Earl's Record vs. WCU: 7-8 (at VMI)
Gray's Record vs. UTC: 2-3

Chattanooga's Current Record: 20-10 overall, 12-3 home, 8-7 away, 0-0 neutral, 12-5 SoCon
Chattanooga's Last Season Record: 18-17 overall, 12-3 home, 0-9 away, 3-1 neutral, 7-11 SoCon.

The Series: Western owns a 30-71 record versus the Mocs in a series that tipped off in 1969, and are 6-4 in the last 10 games played. The Cats are 6-39 in games played in Chattanooga. The two teams split the wins last season, each winning on their home court, but the Cats dropped a game to the Mocs in Cullowhee in January.

The Cats travel to Chattanooga to end the current regular season in one of the historically, most difficult place, for a Catamount basketball team to pick up a win, McKenzie Arena in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Having played a total of 101 games, the Cats have only won 6 in McKenzie Arena.  

The Mocs were picked to finish 5th by both the coaches and media in preseason polling and sophomore guard Honor Huff was selected preseason all-conference. The Mocs are currently 3d in offense in the SoCon, posting an average of 79 points per game, and 4th in scoring defense, giving up 69.8 points per game.

Currently, the Mocs are tied for second place in the conference standings at 12-5 (in conference) with UNCG (both teams play their final game Saturday). The Mocs come into the game with a 2-2 record in the last 4 games, and are coming off a win in a home game vs. Mercer. However the Mocs dropped a road game vs. The Citadel in Charleston, SC the prior week.  

"Chattanooga became the fourth SoCon team to hit the 20-win plateau back on Feb. 28, as the Mocs rebounded from a 71-62 upset loss at The Citadel with an 84-75 home win over Mercer in the midweek. The SoCon ranks tied with the ACC, Big Ten, and Mountain West with four 20-win teams – one of six conferences in the nation with four or more teams with 20+ victories. The SEC (6) and Big 12 (5) are the only other leagues with more.

The Mocs lineup boasts two of the top seven scorers in the Southern Conference as two VMI transfers Honor Huff (17.7 ppg) and Trey Bonham (16.3 ppg) rank fourth and seventh, respectively. Huff was the first player in the SoCon to surpass the 100 3-pointers made list with 101 on the year, ranking first with a 3.4 treys per game average. Sam Alexis ranks fourth in the SoCon in rebounding at 9.1 per contest, joined in the league's Top 25 by Tyler Millin (4.8 rpg), Randy Brady (4.8 rpg), and Bonham at 4.7 boards per contest."