May 25, 2011
Baseball To Open SoCon Tournament With App. State Wednesday
The third-seeded Samford baseball team will open play in the Southern Conference Tournament by taking on the sixth-seeded Appalachian State Mountaineers Wednesday at 12 p.m. (CT) at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in Charleston, S.C.
The Bulldogs earned the No. 3 seed in the tournament after posting an 18-12 SoCon record and a 34-22 overall mark in the regular season. The 34 overall wins are tied for the most in a single-season in school history.
In its last regular-season series, Samford defeated the College of Charleston, two games to one. The Bulldogs dropped the first game, 11-8, but came back to win games two and three by scores of 4-1 and 6-5.
Samford is led at the plate by Phillip Ervin, batting .372 with 14 doubles and 38 RBI. Saxon Butler is batting .361 with a Samford-record 25 doubles and 58 RBI. Michael Johnson is batting .339, while Brandon Miller leads the team in home runs with 16.
Junior right-handed pitcher Kyle Putkonen will start Wednesday's game on the mound for the Bulldogs. Putkonen carries a record of 6-2 and a 3.13 ERA into the contest.
The Mountaineers earned the No. 6 seed in the SoCon Tournament with a record of 31-25 overall and 15-15 in conference play. ASU defeated Georgia Southern, two games to one, in its final SoCon series last weekend. The Mountaineers won the first two games, 11-1 and 8-6, before falling in game three by a score of 12-4.
Appalachian State is led at the plate by Tyler Zupcic, batting .338. Jack Myers and Hector Crespo are each batting .322 for the Mountaineers. Daniel Kassouf leads ASU in home runs with eight.
ASU will start right-hander Ryan Arrowood on the mound against the Bulldogs. Arrowood has a record of 8-2 and an ERA of 2.87.
Samford and Appalachian State have met eight previous times, with the Mountaineers holding a 6-2 advantage in the series. Samford won the regular-season series this season, two games to one. ASU won the first game of this year's series, 4-0, but Samford came back to win the last two games by scores of 5-4 and 8-3.
Samford has a record of 1-2 in Southern Conference Tournament games. The Bulldogs made their SoCon Tournament debut last season. The Bulldogs fell to Elon, 1-0, and then took down Furman, 13-10, in an elimination game. Samford was then eliminated from the tournament by Elon, falling by a score of 7-4.
The winner of Wednesday's game will advance to take on the winner of the game between the No. 2 seed UNC Greensboro and the No. 7 seed Furman at 4 p.m. (CT) on Thursday. The loser of the game will take on the UNC Greensboro-Furman loser at 8 a.m. (CT) on Thursday.
The tournament championship game is scheduled for Sunday, May 29, at 1 p.m. (CT).
Wednesday's game, and all of Samford's games in the tournament can be heard locally on WVSU-FM 91.1, or worldwide on the internet at www.samford.edu/wvsu. Fans can also follow the games online via GameTracker at www.samfordsports.com.