MARCH 2-4 • BOONE, N.C. • BEAVER FIELD AT JIM AND BETTIE STADIUM
FRIDAY, MARCH 2 • 3 P.M.
ASU Sr. RHP Ryan Arrowood (1-0, 1.64 ERA) vs. Rider So. RHP Mike Murphy (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
SATURDAY, MARCH 3 • 1 P.M. (DH)
Game One: ASU Sr. RHP Seth Grant (0-1, 3.09 ERA) vs. Sr. Rider LHP Patrick Devlin (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Game Two: ASU Fr. RHP Jamie Nunn (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Fr. Rider RHP Kurt Sowa (1-0, 1.0 ERA)
SUNDAY, MARCH 4 • 1 P.M.
ASU Jr. LHP (2-0, 0.68 ERA) vs. Rider Fr. LHP Zach Mawson (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
***UPDATE (3:25 p.m. Friday): Live stats are now available for the series opener between ASU and Rider. Click on the link at the top of the page to view.***
The biggest story in college baseball comes to Boone this weekend when Appalachian State University baseball opens its home schedule with a four-game series versus Rider at ASU's Beaver Field at Jim and Bettie Smith Stadium. The Mountaineers' home opener is set for Friday at 3 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Appalachian went 5-2 during a season-opening road stint, including take 2-of-3 games last weekend at No. 7 LSU, making ASU the talk of college baseball all week. The Mountaineers followed up the series win at LSU with a 5-3 come-from-behind victory at North Carolina A&T on Tuesday and carry a three-game winning streak into this weekend's tilts with Rider.
Pitching continues to highlight the Apps' fast start. Appalachian brings a 1.92 team ERA and .177 opponent' batting average into the series and has struck out 60 batters in seven games (8.7 K per game). ASU's 14 runs allowed are easily the fewest in the Southern Conference this season, five less than the next closest club (Davidson — 19 runs allowed).
Offensively, ASU has somewhat struggled to a .246 batting average and 4.3 runs per game so far this season but has faced terrific starting pitchers in George Mason's Anthony Montefusco (1-0, 1.38 ERA) and LSU's Kevin Gausman (2-0, 0.69 ERA) and Ryan Eades (1-1, 0.79 ERA). The Mountaineers' bats will be challenged once again this weekend by a Rider pitching staff that boasts a 1.30 ERA and .197 opponents' batting average on the young season.
Led by its strong pitching, Rider (3-1) is one of the more formidable opponents on ASU's 2012 slate. From Lawrenceville, N.J., the Broncs finished second in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference with a 33-18 record a year ago and have won two MAAC championships and made two NCAA Regional appearances in the last four seasons. RU opened the season by winning 3-of-4 games at Norfolk State last weekend.
This weekend's series kicks off a seven-game homestand for the Mountaineers. After the four-game set with Rider, ASU hosts Duke on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. before opening SoCon action with a three-game series versus Davidson next weekend (March 9-11) at Smith Stadium.