ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville baseball team returns to McCormick Field Tuesday night when the Bulldogs host Appalachian State of the Southern Conference starting at 6 p.m.
Tuesday’s game will be video-streamed and can be seen for a small fee at www.uncabulldogs.com.
Asheville (10-23) hopes for a similar performance against the Mountaineers (17-10) like it had last Wednesday at McCormick Field against Western Carolina. The Bulldogs downed their mountain rivals 15-0 as they posted a season-high 20 hits in earning their first shutout of the season.
Tom Smith’s club travelled to Charlotte this past weekend for a three-game series with the 49ers of the Atlantic 10 Conference. Asheville fell 8-4 on Friday before winning on Saturday, 6-3. The Bulldogs dropped a tough 11-inning affair to Charlotte on Sunday as the home team scored twice to win, 8-7.
“We played a lot better last week, and we need that to continue,” commented Asheville coach Tom Smith. “Our guys battled hard and did a much better job in all facets of the game. We’ve got a tough task tomorrow night against ASU. This is a program that was one win from a Super Regional last season.”
The Bulldogs got good news on Monday when they learned that senior catcher Ian Graham was named Big South Player of the Week. Graham, a senior from Marietta, Ga., extended his streak of reaching base to 30 games, while batting .524 in five starts last week. He recorded four multi-hit games, including a two home run game against Charlotte on April 6. For the week he went 11-for-21, with nine RBI and five runs scored. The catcher recorded two homers and two doubles, with three walks and one sacrifice fly. He posted a slugging percentage of .907, and an on-base percentage of .577 from the leadoff spot. Against mountain rival Western Carolina on April 3, Graham tied a career-high five RBI against the Catamounts. The honor marks his first Big South Player of the Week nod this season.
Asheville has a busy week as the Bulldogs travel to Woffod on Wednesday and then welcome Presbyterian College to Greenwood Field this weekend for a BSC series. The Dogs hope to improve on their 1-8 mark in league play this weekend.
Ian Graham leads Asheville in hitting with a .368 average. He also tops the team in RBI with 21 and home runs with four.
The Bulldogs are 3-3 in one-run games this season.
Robert McIntosh is 9-for-19 in the last four games at the plate with seven runs scored.
Tommy Houmard is 13-for-26 from the plate in the last five games with six RBI, three doubles and a home run.