ASHEVILLE, N.C. - The UNC Asheville baseball team opens Big South Conference play on the road when the Bulldogs begin a three-game series at league newcomer Longwood starting Friday at 6 p.m.


This will be Asheville's (7-11) first ever meeting with the Lancers (8-8). The Bulldogs are slated to start right-hander Dean Roland (0-3, 4.88 ERA) on Friday, left-hander Lucas Clarke (0-0, 3.27 ERA) on Saturday and right-hander Brian Connolly (1-1, 5.74 ERA) on Sunday.


"We're looking forward to opening Big South Conference play this weekend," said fourth-year coach Tom Smith. "Longwood has a good team and won some impressive non-conference games this season. They're very difficult to beat at home."


The Bulldogs have won three of their last five games but fell at home to ETSU on Wednesday, 20-9.


"We didn't play very well on Wednesday," declared Smith. "Hopefully, we'll play a lot better this weekend. We'd really like to get off to a good start in league play."


Asheville is being led at the plate by junior third-baseman Robert McIntosh. He's hitting a team-high .345 with two home runs and 12 RBI. Second-baseman Kyle Towles is at .344 with eight RBI. Shortstop Eli Miller was a bright spot in defeat on Wednesday with his first career home run. He and Ian Graham are hitting .333 this year.


Longwood is coming off a 17-4 win over Norfolk State on Wednesday. Alex Owens leads the Lancer attack with a .400 average. He has three home runs and 15 RBI. Aaron Myers is doing a nice job out of the bullpen with four saves.



UNC Asheville is 3-1 in one-run games this year and won its last three.


The Bulldogs are 0-5 on the road and 2-2 in neutral games.


Asheville is 1-0 in night games this season.


Eli Miller enters Friday's game with a five-game hitting streak.


Kyle Towles has reached base in 17 straight games.


Hunter Bryant has a hit in 11 of his last 13 contests.


The Bulldogs are looking to win their conference opener for the third straight season.