ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville baseball team hits the road this weekend for a three-game Big South Conference series with defending champion Coastal Carolina on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The three-game series will take place at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark in Myrtle Beach. Friday and Saturday’s game will start at Noon followed by Sunday’s contest at 10 a.m. All three-games will be video-streamed and can be seen for a small fee at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (15-31, 3-14 BSC) faces a Chanticleer (29-18, 13-5 BSC) team that is coming off a series win at national power Georgia Tech last weekend. The Bulldogs had been off for 10 days due to exams before playing at ETSU Wednesday night. Asheville fell to the Buccaneers 9-3.
Asheville and Coastal Carolina have not played in two seasons. The teams last played at Greenwood Field in 2011 with the Bulldogs winning the series with two exciting victories. Asheville’s 7-6 win in the second game of the series ended a 35-game winning streak by the Chanticleers in league play.
“Coastal Carolina is always a tough team to play but it looks they’re playing pretty good baseball right now,” stated Bulldog coach Tom Smith. “We’re looking forward to playing them. Coastal Carolina has a program that is one of the most consistent in the nation. We’ll need to be at our best this weekend.”
The Bulldogs are scheduled to start freshman right-hander Corey Randall (3-3, 4.29 ERA) on Friday, junior right-hander Dean Roland (2-7, 4.86 ERA) on Saturday and senior right-hander Dillon Tabar (2-3, 4.79 ERA) on Sunday.
Asheville is being led at the plate by senior Todd Joyner. Joyner has a .331 average heading into this weekend’s action. He’s hitting .388 in Big South Conference games. Joyner will bring a Bulldog season-high 14 game hitting streak into Friday’s contest.
Sophomore shortstop Tommy Houmard is hitting at a .325 clip on the year. He’s reached base in 28 straight games.
UNC Asheville is 1-0 all-time vs. Coastal Carolina at Pelican Park. The only meeting between the teams in Myrtle Beach came in the 2000 Big South Conference baseball championships as the Bulldogs downed the Chanticleers 3-0 behind the pitching of Jason Walker and Nick Brannon.
The Bulldogs will be trying to win a road league series against the Chanticleers for the first time in school history. Asheville has never a BSC series on the road against CCU. The Bulldogs have dropped 10 straight league games against the Chanticleers on their home field. Asheville’s last win came in the 2004 season when the Dogs won the second game of a three-game set, 11-6.
Seven of Asheville’s last 11 games have been one-run affairs. The Bulldogs are 3-4 in those games. Five of Asheville’s last seven league games have been one-run contests. The Bulldogs are 1-4 in those games. Asheville is 6-7 overall in one-run games but just 1-5 in BSC one-run games.
Asheville has played errorless baseball in five of the last seven games. They have gone two Big South Conference series’ (Longwood 3/15-17 & High Point 4/20-22) without making an error.
Despite its overall record, the Bulldogs have posted some impressive non-conference wins this year. Asheville went 2-0 against the Big East with wins against Georgetown and Pittsburgh and it owns a 15-0 home win over mountain rival and Southern Conference leader Western Carolina. The Catamounts are 12-1 since that loss on April 2.
The Bulldogs have had at least 10 hits in 15 of the last 17 games.
Asheville is fifth in the Big South in batting with a .277 average.
Hunter Bryant has a hit in seven of his last eight games.
The Bulldogs last league win was a thriller as Asheville defeated Gardner-Webb 7-6 on April 26 in 13 innings. The Dogs were behind 3-0 and being no-hit for five innings before rallying to tie the game in the ninth inning. Asheville scored the winning run on an error and got standout relief pitching from Billy Creighton. He pitched 5.2 innings of scoreless relief and struck out seven Gardner-Webb hitters.