Hempstead, NY - The Hofstra Pride baseball team will play its biggest series in quite some time this weekend when it opens a three-game set at first-place UNCW. The Seahawks sit at 10-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association, one game ahead of the 9-3 Pride.
Hofstra enters the weekend with an 18-13 overall record and are over the .500 mark this late in the season for the first time since the 1999 team was 17-14 after 31 games on the way to s 24-20 final record. The Pride is coming off a pair of games earlier in the week, a 24-1 win over NYIT and a 16-3 loss at St. John's.
Danny Poma continues to lead the Hofstra offense with a .459 average, 19 doubles, six home runs, 45 runs and 18 steals. Poma also has 34 RBIs. Jared Hammer has a .404 average and a team-best 38 RBIs. Dave Jesch and John Tiedemann anchor the Hofstra pitching staff. Jesch is 3-0 with a 2.54 ERA and 35 strikeouts, while Tiedemann is 4-3 with a 5.58 ERA and 38 strikeouts.
The Seahawks also had a pair of midweek games, defeating Coastal Carolina (5-4) and Charleston Southern (10-4) on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Thomas Pope paces the UNCW offense with a .328 average and four triples. Tyler Molinaro has a team-best eight home runs and 26 RBIs to go along with a .262 average. Tyler McSwain has posted a staff-best four wins (4-2). Ricky Holden has a 1.62 ERA in 14 relief appearances, while Mat Batts has a 2-4 record, a 2.90 ERA and a team-high 45 strikeouts.
Game one of the series, Friday at 6:30 p.m., will feature Hofstra's Jared Rogers (0-3, 5.79) facing McSwain (4-2, 4.22). Saturday's game will pit Tiedemann (4-3, 5.58) against Batts (2-4, 2.90) and Sunday's finale will see Jesch (3-0, 2.54) take on Jordan Ramsey (2-2, 3.00) in a matchup of two of the top freshmen pitchers in the league.
UNCW has a big edge in the all-time series, 24-4, and took two of three at Hofstra last season.
Live video (subscription-only) and live statistics for the series can be accessed through GoHofstra.com.