ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville baseball team will host Big South power Coastal Carolina this weekend in a key three-game series for both clubs. Action begins on Friday at 6 p.m., continues on Saturday and 2 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.
All three games will be video-streamed and can be seen for free on the Big South Digital Network under the multimedia tag at uncabulldogs.com.
The Bulldogs (9-20, 3-6 BSC) are tied for third place in the South Division in the latest Big South Conference standings with Presbyterian College and Gardner-Webb. All three teams are a game behind the Chanticleers (12-18, 4-5 BSC) in second place. Winthrop stands in first place in the South at 6-3.
Coastal Carolina has been in the NCAA Tournament the past seven years and is usually the team to beat in the Big South. Bulldog head coach Tom Smith knows the Chanticleers still have a good team.
“Coastal Carolina is well-coached and has a good team again this year,” stated Smith. “They’ve played their usual tough schedule and have lost some close games. We’re going to need to play at our absolute best to have a chance to win this series.”
The Bulldogs lost both of their mid-week games as they fell at Western Carolina, 4-1 on Tuesday and to Wofford last night at home, 7-3. Asheville was held to eight hits in those two games.
“We’re going to have to hit this weekend to have any chance against Coastal,” commented Smith. “We’ve been shut down the past two games and hopefully we can get it going again this weekend.”
Senior right-hander Ethan Steible (0-2, 3.03 ERA) is scheduled to start on Friday, with freshman right-hander Joe Zayatz (1-4, 5.13 ERA) slated to start Saturday’s contest. Senior right-hander Dean Roland (2-2, 6.37 ERA) will start on Sunday.
Senior third baseman Robert McIntosh tops the Bulldogs in hitting with a .303 average. Junior infielder Tommy Houmard is next with a .300 average. Pete Guy leads the team in homers (3) and RBI’s (15).
This will be Coastal Carolina’s first visit to Greenwood Field since the 2011 season when the Bulldogs won the series, two games to one. Asheville ended a 35-game Big South Conference winning streak by CCU with a 3-2 win in the series’ second game. The Dogs won the series the next day with an extra inning 7-6 triumph.
It was Asheville’s first series win against the Chanticleers since the 2003 campaign. It marked just the third series win against CCU since Gary Gilmore became the Chants head coach in 1996.
Six of Asheville’s nine Big South Conference games have been decided by one run. The Bulldogs are 2-4 in those contests.
Hunter Bryant has reached base in 12 straight games.
Corey Randall has 28 strikeouts in his last 15 innings of work, including nine at PC on March 15.
Scott Robinson is fifth in the Big South in saves with four.
Kyle Towles is third in the Big South in doubles with 11.
Robert McIntosh has a six-game hitting streak entering this week’s action. He is 16-of-29 (.552) at the plate in those games.
Asheville is 4-6 at Greenwood Field this year.