North Carolina A&T (6-9, 2-1 MEAC) at Bethune-Cookman (9-8, 4-2 MEAC)
Date: March 15-16, 2014
Time: 1 p.m., Saturday doubleheader; 4 p.m., Sunday
Facility: Jackie Robinson Park
AGGIES PLAY FIRST MEAC ROAD SERIES
North Carolina A&T hopes to get their bats going as they travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., to face Bethune-Cookman in a weekend series.
A&T is looking for its first run since scoring a run in the sixth inning of a 7-4 March 9 loss at Davidson. It is a streak of 17 straight innings without a run.
Despite the lack of offensive output, Brandon Wilkerson and Luke Tendler have remained productive. Wilkerson is 6-for-12 at the plate in his last five games, but drove in only one run. Senior All-American Luke Tendler is 9-for-19 (.474) with two doubles and two RBI in his last five.
The bottom of the order is where the Aggies are hoping to get more production. The Aggies 7, 8 and 9 are hitting a combined .200 (29-for-145) this season.
A&T will being trying to snap a seven-game losing streak this weekend. Despite the streak, A&T has had some stellar pitching performances. Right-hander Kirby Whicker pitched four innings and surrendered only one run against N.C. Central on March 2. RHP Charles Cantrell went eight innings, gave up three runs and struck out five in a loss to Davidson on March 8. LHP DarAmani Swift scattered six hits over nine innings and only gave up one run against Bryant on March 11.
HOW TO CATCH THE GAME
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LAST TIME OUT
A rain storm swept through Greensboro on Wednesday, ending A&T’s game against Bryant in five innings. The Bulldogs held a 4-0 lead after five, which was enough innings played to earn the victory.
The Aggies stranded four runners over the first two innings of the game.
A&T starter Justin Godette did not walk a batter over 5.1 innings pitched.
Slugger Luke Tendler was in the leadoff spot on Wednesday. He went 1-for-3 in the game with a strikeout
Saturday Game 1: RHP Tyler Boone (Sr.,0-2, 7.64 ERA) vs. RHP Keith Zuniga (R-Jr., 2-1, 1.73 ERA)
Saturday Game 2: RHP Charles Cantrell (Jr., 2-1, 1.83 ERA) vs. Gabriel Hernandez (R-Sr., 1-1, 4.40 ERA)
Sunday: RHP Mitchell McQueen (Jr., 1-3, 4.70 ERA) vs. Scott Garner (Sr., 1-2, 4.29 ERA)
ABOUT THE STARTERS
Tyler Boone will be looking for his first win of the season. He was roughed up in his last outing, giving up seven earned runs over 1.1 innings pitched against UMass. In his last conference start, he went seven innings against N.C. Central, gave up three earned runs and struck out three in a no decision.
Cantrell has the lowest ERA on the team. He also leads the team in strikeouts with 22. He struck out a season-high 12 in seven innings against N.C. Central on March 1.
McQueen is looking for the pitching form that helped him pitch a complete-game one-hitter against Marshall on Feb. 23. McQueen has given up 19 hits in his last two starts.
Bethune-Cookman has had an interesting season thus far. The Wildcats dropped two out of three to N.C. Central last weekend, but then came away with a 7-3 win over the University of Miami. On Wednesday, the Wildcats lost to North Florida 12-7.
The Wildcats did open the conference season with three straight wins over Florida A&M. They pounded out a combined 37 hits in the three-game series.
Matt Noble and Austin Garcia are the Wildcats’ big run producers. Each player has 10 RBI on the season with Garcia leading the team in batting at .362. Garcia is .341 while Eric Sams is hitting .344 with a team-leading 17 runs scored and a team-leading nine doubles.
The Wildcats lead the all-time series 80-19. The Wildcats were 4-2 against the Aggies last season.
The Aggies haven't won a series against Bethune-Cookman since the 2005 season.
The Aggies will play two mid-week games at Winthrop and at Hight Point on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both start times are at 6 p.m.