Tuesday, April 30, 2024

USC Upstate (midweek baseball)


Who: USA Upstate
When: Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Time: 5:00 pm
Where: Childress Field, Cullowhee, NC
TV/video: CW62 /  ESPN+
Live StatsWCU Live Stats
     -announcer: Daniel Hooker (PxP)
Nickname: Spartans
Colors: Green and 3 shades of Gray
Conference: Big South

Head CoachMike McGuire enters his fifth season as the head baseball coach at USC Upstate during the 2024 season after being introduced as the program’s fourth head coach on June 27, 2019. Under McGuire’s direction, Upstate advanced to the program's first-ever Big South Tournament Championship Game—the first conference championship game appearance for the program—in 2023. The Spartans also captured a program-record 38 victories in 2023, giving the program its winningest two (73) and three-year (110) stretches while being one of 23 Division I programs to win 35 or more games in each of the last three seasons (2021-23).

The Series: The Cats own a 9-5 overall record vs. the Spartans. The Cats are 4-3 in games played in Cullowhee, and are 7-3 in the last ten games played. The Cats lost a road game to the Spartans earlier this season.

Current record:  28-16 overall, 20-7 home, 8-8 away, 0-1 netural, 13 5 Big South

In preseason voting by the Big South coaches, the Spartans were selected to finish the season in first place. Upstate led all Big South teams in total all-conference selections with seven: redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Jake Cubbler, sophomore right-handed pitcher Mathieu Curtis, redshirt senior outfielder Daniel Gernon, senior left-handed pitcher Henry Proger, junior designated hitter Jace Rinehart, redshirt senior infielder Grant Sherrod, and junior utility player Noah Sullivan earned the honor.

The Spartans are coming off a road series vs. PC in Clinton, SC dropping two of there to the Blue Hose. The Spartans are currently in second place in the 9 team Big South standing, behind High Point. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Wofford (Weekend Series)


Who: Wofford Terriers
When: Friday, April 26 thru Sunday, April 28, 2024
Times: Friday 5:30 pm; Saturday 2 pm; Sunday 1:00 pm
Where: Russell C. King Field, Spartanburg, SC
Live StatsWofford Live Stats
Nickname: Terriers
Colors: Black and Gold

Head Coach: J.J. Edwards (first season as head coach) joined the coaching staff in the fall of 2011 as the volunteer assistant and was promoted to assistant coach in the summer of 2012. Now in his 13th season on the staff, he will continue to work with the hitters and infielders. In the summer of 2016 he added the responsibilities of recruiting coordinator and in the summer of 2021 was promoted to associate head coach.

The Series: The Cats own a 76-28-1 overall record vs. the Terriers, in a series that started in 1970. The Cats are 31-13-1 in games played in Spartanburg, but are 5-4-1 in the last ten games played. The Terriers took 2 of 3 in the series last year in Cullowhee.

Current record:   27-11 overall, 18-2 home,  9-9 away, 0-0 neutral,  7-4 SoCon  

Wofford tops the country in batting average (.347), OBP (.460), runs (415), scoring (11.2) and triples (24).  The Terriers are outscoring their opponents 415-217 this season, as nine Terriers are hitting over .300 with Brice Martinez (.420) hitting over .400.   Wofford's 110 stolen bases are currently fourth in the nation and Marshall Toole's 32 steals lead the nation. He also boasts a 37-game on-base streak.

Wofford's Brice Martinez owns a 23-game hitting streak, tied for second longest in program history. Wofford's 15 runs in the fifth inning against Presbyterian are a new program record for runs in an inning.  With 24 triples this season, the Terriers have set a new program record for triples in a season. Marshall Toole's seven three-baggers are tied for most by a player in a season in program history. 

The Wofford offense has been almost unstoppable so far in 2024, totaling 415 runs through 37 games of the season, tied for most in the nation. At an average of 11.2 per game, the Terriers lead the country in scoring per game. This is aided by the country's best on-base percentage (.460) and batting average (.347) and eighth-most hits (449). With 24 triples, the Terriers also top the nation and have set a new single-season program record. Wofford has scored double-digit runs in 20 games so far this season and outscored its opponents 415-217. The Terriers have recorded 20 or more runs four times, including twice scoring 29 runs, a new single-game program record. Three of Wofford's

20-plus scoring outings totaled 27 or more runs, making the Terriers one of only three teams in the nation to do so at least twice (Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Texas Tech). 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

WCU Baseball: Samford (Weekend Series)


Who: Samford Bulldogs
When: Friday, April 19 thru Sunday, April 21, 2024
Time: Friday 5:00 pm; Saturday 2 pm; Sunday 1:00 pm
Where: Childress Field, Cullowhee, NC
Live StatsWCU Live Stats
       -announcer: Daniel Hooker (PxP)
Nickname: Bulldogs
Colors:  Blue and Red

Head Coach: Tony David, a long-time associate head coach at Samford, enters his third season as the program's head coach. David served on the Samford staff for the past 17 seasons, including the last 16 as associate head coach. David also served as the program’s recruiting coordinator from 2005 to 2017.

The Series: The Cats own a 22-30 overall record vs. the Bulldogs, in a series that started in 2009. The Cats are 13-8 in games played in Cullowhee, but only 3-7 in the last ten games played. The Cats went 1-2 in the series in 2023 played in Homewood, with a win that broke a 5 game skid to the Bulldogs.

Current record: 24-12 overall, 18-6 home, 6-6 away, 0-0 neutral, 8-1 SoCon

The Samford was picked as the favorite to win the Southern Conference, and junior pitcher Brooks Rice was tabbed as the league's preseason Pitcher of the Year.  Rice was joined on the first team All-SoCon team by starting pitcher Michael Ross and second baseman John Anderson. Samford's second team All-SoCon representatives were starting pitcher Will Lynch, relief pitcher Jake Holifield, catcher Lucas Steele and outfielder Josh Rodriguez.

As a team last season, Samford finished with a record of 37-25, going 15-6 in Southern Conference play to win the SoCon regular-season championship. The Bulldogs then went on to win the SoCon Tournament title and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

So far this season, Samford has been led at the plate by John Anderson, batting .419 with 10 doubles, nine home runs and 42 RBI. Garrett Howe is hitting .394 with 10 doubles, five home runs and 27 RBI. Dating back to last season, Howe has currently reached base in 36-on secutive games, the third-longest streak in school history.  As a team, Samford currently leads the Southern Conference in home runs with 55 and ranks third in batting average at .317. Individually, John Anderson ranks second in the SoCon in batting average (.419), while Garrett Howe ranks fifth in the league (.394). Howe also leads the SoCon in walks (32) and ranks second in on-base percentage (.530).

Sunday, April 14, 2024

WCU's Spring Football Game

Courtesy WCU Athletics Media Relations

Three different QBs combined to run four scoring drives in the first half as the Purple Team built a 28-10 halftime lead in Saturday’s annual Spring Game. The White Team’s late score before halftime sparked a 28-point comeback that included a 10-point run late in the second half. However, it wasn’t until C. J. Williams intercepted what turned out to be the last pass of the game and returned the ball 100 yards for his second pick-six of the game that the White Team was able to celebrate its comeback win.

Saturday's game featured 23 drives for both teams. Ten of those drives resulted in points with nine touchdowns and one field goal. Seven of the drives went three and out with the White team going three and out four times and the Purple going three and out five times. Five drives ended in interceptions with the White team's defense picking off four passes and the Purple team picking off one. The White team did not convert a single fourth-down attempt.

Cole Gonzales, the returning starter, completed 4 of 5 passes for 79 yards and a 64-yard TD to AJ Colombo. Bennett Judy, a redshirt freshman, completed 67% of his passes, including eight-straight at one point, for 285 yards and three touchdowns, but was also intercepted twice, while redshirt sophomore Brook Palhegyi was 3 of 9 for 36 yards. Colombo was one of nine receivers to catch passes for the Purple, totaling 96 yards and a TD, while tight end Jake Young had five catches and a TD, and Jai Boyd had five catches for 56 yards. Santana Fleming had two receptions for a score, and Branson Adams also had a receiving touchdown from behind the line. Receiver Eric Rasheed had the game's highest average per reception (1, 50 yards) and receiver Ca'lique Cunningham had the second highest average (51 yards).

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Catamount Baseball: UNCG Spartans (Weekend Series)


Who: UNCG Spartans
When: Friday, April 12 thru Sunday, April 14, 2024
Time: Friday 5:00 pm; Saturday 3 pm; Sunday 1:00 pm
Where: Childress Field, Cullowhee, NC
Live StatsWCU Live Stats
    -announcer: Daniel Hooker (PxP)
Nickname: Spartans
Colors: White, Blue and Gold

Head CoachCody Ellis was named the Interim Head Coach in January 2024. Ellis joined the Spartans in October 2022 after three years as the head coach and assistant athletic director at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), starting in August of 2019. Ellis was most recently promoted to interim head coach for the Spartans in December 2023. Former HC Billy Godwin stepped down from his position as head coach of the UNCG baseball team on December 31, 2023, to rejoin the New York Yankees in a scouting role.

The Series: The Cats own a 37-48 overall record vs. the Spartans, in a series that started in 1992. The Cats are 12-17 in games played in Cullowhee, and only 2-8 in the last ten games played. The Spartans swept the Catamounts in the series played in Greensboro in 2023,

Current record: 17-14 overall, 12-5 home, 5-8 away, 0-0 neutral, 5-4 conference.

UNCG was picked to finish 6th in the SoCon preseason baseball poll. The Spartans finished the 2023 season with a 25-34 overall record and 9-12 in SoCon play to earn the sixth spot in the SoCon Preseason Coaches' Poll. UNCG concluded the season in the semifinal round of the SoCon Tournament, falling to No. 1 Samford, 9-5.

The Spartans swept the Mercer Bears in March, and went 2-1 with ETSU in Greensboro. UNCG was 1-2 vs. Wofford in Spartanburg last weekend. UNCG comes into this weekends matchup with the Cats owning a 17-14 overall record and 5-4 in SoCon play. As a team, UNCG is ranked in the top-30 nationally over three categories: sacrifice bunts (25), stolen bases (65) and stolen bases per game (2.17).  
Collectively on the year, UNCG enters the weekend batting a SoCon-low .268 with 99 total extra-base hits – 54 doubles, nine triples, and 36 home runs. The Spartans average 7.25 runs on 8.9 hits per game while limiting opponents to 6.0 runs on a matching 8.9 hits per contest.

Western Carolina vs. UNCG (Childress Field / Hennon Stadium)

Friday, April 12 | 5 p.m. | Cullowhee, N.C. | Coverage: ESPN+ | LiveStats
UNCG: Soph. RHP Julien Peissel (7 app., 7 GS – 0-2, 6.21 ERA, 33.1 IP, 33 K, 19 BB)
WCU: Sr. RHP Gavin Mortenson (12 app., 5 GS – 2-1, 3.16 ERA, 31.1 IP, 32 K, 18 BB)

Saturday, April 13 | 3 p.m. | Cullowhee, N.C. | Coverage: ESPN+ | LiveStats
UNCG: Jr. RHP Rob Ready (8 app., 8 GS – 3-1, 3.40 ERA, 47.2 IP, 30 K, 13 BB)
WCU: RHP Davis Budd (8 app., 3 GS – 0-0, 5.59 ERA, 19.1 IP, 21 K, 8 BB)

Sunday, April 14 | 1 p.m. | Cullowhee, N.C. | Coverage: ESPN+ | LiveStats
UNCG: Soph. RHP Jay Miller (7 app. 5 GS – 0-3, 5.87 ERA, 30.2 IP, 28 K, 13 BB)

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Akron Zips (Weekend Series)


Who: Akron Zips
When: Friday, April 5 thru Sunday, April 7, 2024
Time: Friday 4:05 pm; Saturday 4:05 pm; Sunday 1:05 pm
Where: Prasco Park | Mason, Ohio
TV/videoChatter Box Sports
Live StatsAkron Live Stats
Nickname: Zips
Mascot: Zippy the Kangaroo
Colors: Blue and Gold
Students: 12,000
Conference: Mid-America Conference (MAC)

Head Coach: Bryan Faulds was named head baseball coach on June 20, 2023, and will lead the Zips in his first season in 2023-24. Faulds comes to Akron with two decades of coaching experience at the collegiate level. He spent the last two seasons as head coach at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, where he led the Hilltoppers to a 72-43 overall record and 34-13 mark in the Lone Star Conference, advancing to the NCAA DII South Central Regional in both campaigns.

The Series: The Cats own an 3-2 overall record vs. the Zips, in a series that started in 2011.

Current record: 5-21 overall, 1-8 home, 2-12 away, 2-1 neutral, 1-11 MAC

Akron is coming off a 21-34 season where they went 12-18 in the MAC. The Zips posted a 7-12 home record and a 12-18 road record. The Zips will be under the direction of Brian Faulds, who is in his first season leading the Akron Baseball program after leading St. Edwards (Lone Star, Div. II) for the past two seasons. Akron was picked to finish 11th in the MAC coaches preseason poll.

Nick Poist led the Blue and Gold with a .298 batting average that saw 59 hits, 13 doubles, one triple, three home runs, and 28 RBI. Nick Arrivo and Nick Firestone were second and third in hits while Firestone led the way with 17 home runs, which set a program record for single-season home runs. Akron is batting .217 (187-of-861) with 53 extra-base hits including 38 doubles, five triples, and 10 home runs divided between seven different players. The Zips are averaging 4.3 runs on 6.9 hits per game.

The Zips were swept by The Citadel in Charleston in late February.  The three-game series with the Cats opens Friday with an amended 4:05 p.m. start with a matching first pitch time on Saturday afternoon. Friday's game was bumped up earlier based on the forecasted temperatures in Ohio. The series concludes Sunday with a 1:05 pm start time. Each game will be streamed live through Chatterbox Sports with live stats also available through dedicated links online at CatamountSports.com.

2024 Catamount Baseball – Western Carolina vs. Akron – Prasco Park (Mason, Ohio)

Friday, April 5 | 4:05 p.m. (updated time) | Prasco Park | Coverage: ChatterBoxSports Stream 
Akron: RHP Jared Schaeffer (6 app., 6 GS – 0-4, 5.81 ERA, 31.0 IP, 21 K, 9 BB)
WCU: RHP Gavin Mortenson (10 app. 4 GS – 1-1, 3.28 ERA, 24.2 IP, 28 K, 16 BB)

Saturday, April 6 | 4:05 p.m. | Prasco Park | Coverage: ChatterBoxSports Stream
Akron: RHP Spencer Atkins (7 app., 7 GS – 0-4, 6.89 ERA, 31.1 IP, 28 K, 15 BB)
WCU: RHP Davis Budd (7 app., 2 GS – 0-0, 4.91 ERA, 14.2 IP, 16 K, 8 BB)

Sunday, April 7 | 1:05 p.m. | Prasco Park | Coverage: ChatterBoxSports Stream 
Akron: TBA

Monday, April 1, 2024

Gardner-Webb (midweek game 4-2-24)


Who: Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs
When: Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Time: 6:00 pm
Where: John Henry Moss Stadium, Boiling Springs, NC
Radio:  Catamount Sports Network
Live StatsWCU Live Stats
Nickname: Bulldogs
Colors: Scarlet and black
Students: 3,124 (Fall 2023)
Conference: Big South
Mascot: Mac and Lulu
Location: Boiling Springs

Head Coach: Jim Chester is entering his fifth year as the head coach of the Gardner-Webb baseball team after taking over the program in June 2019. In his time at GWU, Chester has amassed a 92-92 record, 16 All-Conference award winners, one Big South Pitcher of the Year, and one All-American selection

The Series: The Cats own an 18-12 overall record vs. the Runnin' Bulldogs, in a series that started in 1970. The Cats are 9-6-1 in games played in Cullowhee, but only 4-6 in the last ten games played. The Cats have lost their last 3 games played to the Dogs. The Dogs come into the game dropping 2 of 3 to Winthrop in Boiling Springs, NC.

Current record: 9-17, 8-10 home, 1-7 away, 0-0 neutral, & 2-7 Big South

Gardner-Webb was voted second in the Big South's baseball preseason poll, additionally, Alec Burns was named to the first Big South preseason all-conference baseball team. The Runnin' Bulldogs are currently 8th in the Big South (BS) in hitting with a team average of .252; and 7th in team pitching with an 7. 25 ERA.

On Saturday afternoon, Gardner-Webb broke a four-game losing streak in Big South play with a 11-1 win over Presbyterian. The Bulldogs scored all of their runs on base hits, with four for extra-base hits and one home run. The 11 base hits tied for a team-high, with Gardner-Webb posting double-digit hits in nine of its last 10 games.

The Runnin' Bulldogs, who have lost eight of their last 11 games following a four-game winning streak, enter the week with a collective.255 batting average, including 66 extra-base hits, 36 doubles, 3 triples and 27 home runs, while allowing an average of 4.7 runs per game and 8.3 hits per contest.

On the season, two Runnin’ Bulldogs have hit over.300. Alec Burns leads the team with a.329 batting average, including 10 extra-base knocks (4 doubles and 6 home runs), while Humberto Torres (7 extra-base hits) is second with .317. Tommy Tavarez (14 extra-base knocks, including 7 doubles and 7 homers) is also batting over .300 with a team-leading 17 RBI.  Gardner-Webb has turned 21 double plays and has a .962 fielding percentage.