|Baseball Game Day: Hughes Bros. Chall.|
@UNCWbaseball Game Day
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The Seahawks return to the field beginning on Friday with a 4 p.m. start against 2012 College World Series participant Stony Brook on the first day of the Hughes Bros. Baseball Challenge. San Diego and Gardner-Webb begin the weekend schedule with a noon start on Friday.
UNCW enters the weekend with a 4-4 record following a series win over Leigh last weekend as Corey Dick and Christian Wolfe belted pinch hit two-run homers in the eighth inning to open up a one-run game that finished 6-1 UNCW. Senior infielder Michael Bass is hitting a team-high .429 early on and has scored a team-leading 11 runs. Bass also paces the lineup with three roundtrippers and six stolen bases.UNCW pitchering allowed just one earned run last weekend while Mat Batts and three relievers combined on a 15-0 shutout in the Leigh series opener.
The field for the Hughes Bros. Challenge is a solid one with San Diego joining UNCW and Stony Brook in last year’s NCAA tournament. Gardner-Webb was picked to finish second in the strong Big South Conference behind perennial power Coastal Carolina.
The Seawolves, who shocked the world with their run last season, enter the weekend with a 0-6 mark following road sweeps at FIU and North Carolina. SBU has struggled at the plate early on, hitting just .177 while Steven Goldenstein leads the lineup with a .278 average. On the mound, Frankie Vanderka owns an 0-1 record, but has held opponents to a .227 batting average and a 2.25 earned run average.
San Diego, who was nationally-ranked entering the season, enters the Challenge with a record of 3-4 and plays at Coastal Carolina on Thursday. The Toreros feature two players, Kris Bryant and Michael Wagner, who were named to the Golden Spikes List earlier this season. Both are expected to be chosen early in the 2013 MLB draft. Joining Bryant and Wagner with potential to be taken early in the draft is Dylan Covey, who has not allowed a home run in 89 and 1/3 innings.
Gardner-Webb has gotten out of the gates early with a 6-1-1 record following a 16-5 win over North Carolina A&T in midweek action. The Runnin’ Bulldogs feature a pitching staff that has fashioned a 1.77 ERA through eight games. Keying that pitching staff are Andrew Barnett (0-0, 0.82 ERA) and Matt Fraudin (2-0, 2.38 ERA). Opponents are hitting a meager .195 against GWU.
Tickets for the Challenge are $10 for adults, $5 for youth (15-under) and Faculty each day (includes both games and either reserve or general admission). Fans can purchase tickets either at the stadium or online at UNCWsports.com.
Hughes Bros. Baseball