APRIL 13-15, 2012 • STATESBORO, GA. • J. I. CLEMENTS STADIUM
FRIDAY, APRIl 13 • 6 P.M.
ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (5-0, 4.63 ERA) vs. GSU Jr. RHP Chris Beck (4-2, 3.49 ERA)
SATURDAY, APRIL 14 • 6 P.M.
ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (6-1, 2.22 ERA) vs. GSU Jr. RHP Justin Hess (1-1, 5.67 ERA)
SUNDAY, APRIL 15 • 1:30 P.M.
ASU Jr. LHP Rob Marcello (4-2, 4.30 ERA) vs. GSU So. RHP Will Middour (1-2, 4.61 ERA)
First-place and 27th-ranked Appalachian State University baseball looks to rebound from its first back-to-back losses of the season when it closes a four-game road trip at Georgia Southern this weekend. The three-game Southern Conference series is set for 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday at J.I. Clements Stadium in Statesboro, Ga. (note game time changes from original schedule).
Appalachian (24-7, 9-3 SoCon) arrives in Statesboro atop the SoCon standings but puts its first-place status on the line against a red-hot Georgia Southern squad. GSU has won seven-straight contests to up its record to 20-15 overall and 8-7 in conference play.
The Mountaineers managed just three runs and seven hits in losses to College of Charleston on Sunday and at Gardner-Webb on Tuesday, well below their season averages of nearly eight runs and 11 hits per game. The road doesn't get easier for ASU's lagging offense in Friday's series opener, when it faces a likely first-round Major League Baseball draft pick in Georgia Southern right-hander Chris Beck (4-2, 3.49 ERA).
However, Appalachian will counter Beck with a top-notch pitcher of its own in right-hander Ryan Arrowood (5-0, 4.63 ERA). After struggling with mechanical issues for the better part of a month, Arrowood found his form last Friday versus College of Charleston when he held the always-potent Cougar offense without an earned run while striking out seven in the ASU win.
After Arrowood, the Mountaineers have the benefit of running another one of the SoCon's top pitchers out to the mound again on Saturday in senior righty Seth Grant. Grant, who has won each of his last six starts, is tied for SoCon's best record (6-1), boasts the conference's best opponents' batting average (.203) and ranks second in the pitching-heavy league in ERA (2.22). Despite not ranking among the the SoCon's top 10 with 37 overall strikeouts, Grant has punched out 20 batters looking, which ranks second in the conference behind only Beck (26).
Appalachian has traditionally struggled against Georgia Southern, a perennial SoCon power, but has more than held its own against the Eagles in recent years. Despite trailing the all-time series, 52-15, ASU has won four of its last five games versus GSU and has come out on top in two of the clubs' last four regular-season series.