North Carolina A&T (11-16) at Elon (17-10); at UNC Greensboro (13-13)  
Date(s):
 April 1, 2014; April 2, 2014       

Time: 6 p.m.; 6 p.m.
Facilities: Latham Park; UNCG Baseball Stadium

AGGIES STAY CLOSE TO HOME ME

North Carolina A&T will travel no farther than 25 miles to play two road games this week.  

On Tuesday, the Aggies head to Elon to face the Phoenix before going to UNC Greensboro for the second time in a week to face the Spartans at UNCG Baseball Stadium.

The Aggies defeated the Phoenix 5-3 earlier this season and held a 7-1 lead over UNCG before losing 8-7 on a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth. A&T hopes to use the two midweek games to recover from being swept by conference foe Florida A&M over the weekend.

Although the Aggies lost their grip on first place in the MEAC South, they will have a chance to bounce back with a three-game series at N.C. Central over the weekend.

Nationally, the Aggies continue to strive in the area of stolen bases. The Aggies are fourth in the nation in total stolen bases (56) and seventh in stolen bases per game (2.07). Junior Ryan Hill leads the way with 14 stolen bases which ranks him 14th nationally and first in the MEAC. Senior Luke Tendler continues to be the Aggies’ biggest threat offensively. He leads the conference in RBI (24) and home runs (5). Opponents respect his offensive abilities. He is 24th in the nation in walks.

WHO’S HOT?

Junior Ryan Hill is on a six-game hitting streak and has improved his batting average 14 points during the streak. Hill is 7-for-19 (.368) during his hitting streak, and has been a pest on the base paths with four runs scored and four stolen bases in his last six games. He has only made one error this season.

Senior Luke Tendler’s current hitting streak stands at six. He is 10-for-20 at the plate in his last six contests. He also has a home run and five RBI during the streak.

Senior Stefan Jordan has shared time at designated hitter and catcher. He is putting together the best season of his career. In his last 10 games, he is 13-for-38 (.342) at the plate. He has scored five runs in the last 10 but has not driven in a run.

LAST TIME OUT

A&T overcame a 6-1 deficit against Florida A&M on Sunday, but could not hold in an 11-7 loss to the Rattlers at War Memorial Stadium. The Aggies took a 7-6 lead in the home seventh, but gave up the tying run in the eighth inning on a smart base running play by the Rattlers. The Rattlers went on to score four runs in the visitor 10th to seal the win.

The Aggies used six pitchers including Tuesday starter DarAmani Swift and Wednesday starter Justin Godette. Tendler went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Cameron Jergens was 2-for-5 with two RBI.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Elon: LHP DarAmani Swift (1-3, 3.76 ERA) vs. RHP Dimitri Lettas (0-0, 2.51 ERA)

UNCG: RHP Justin Godette (0-3, 7.89 ERA) vs. LHP Andrew George (1-3, 7.77 ERA)

ABOUT THE STARTERS

Swift is making his first start in two weeks. He pitched a 1/3 of an inning on Sunday against Florida A&M and he pitched in relief against UNCG last Wednesday. He defeated the Phoenix by six innings on Feb. 26.

Godette’s numbers don’t reflect how well he has pitched for the Aggies. He has two quality starts this season, one against High Point and the other against UNCG, but has come away with no decisions in both.

Lettas’ last outing came on March 26 against Wake Forest. He pitched 6.1 scoreless innings of relief, gave up three hits and struck out six in a no decision.

George got the start against the Aggies last week. He was chased after giving up six runs on six hits and walking three over 4.1 innings pitched.

A&T’S OPPONENT

Elon opens a 14-game homestand Tuesday night when the Aggies come to town. The Phoenix is coming off of a three-game sweep of The Citadel this past weekend. The three-game sweep of the Bulldogs helped the Phoenix snap a four-game losing streak. Casey Jones leads the Phoenix batting .387 with one homer and 28 RBI.

The Spartans dropped two straight to SoCon foe Appalachian State over the weekend. The third game of the series was rained out. Sean Guite continues to lead the Spartans in hitting at .416. Hunter King is the top RBI man with 22, while Jordan McDonald has driven in 21 runs.   

SERIES HISTORY

Elon leads the all-time series 46-6-1. The Aggies’ win over the Phoenix was the first A&T beat Elon since a 14-9 decision on March 11, 2007.

The Spartans lead the all-time series 39-6. The Aggies have not defeated UNCG since April 28, 2009. The Aggies have lost six straight to the Spartans.

NEXT UP

The Aggies travel to Durham to face N.C. Central in a three-game conference series at the Durham Athletic Park. The Aggies took two out of three from the Eagles Feb. 22-23. The Saturday doubleheader starts at 1 p.m., and the Sunday finale starts at 1.