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Opponent Preview: Wilmington (Part Deux)

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Meet the Seahawks... We, like, literally just saw these dudes two weeks ago

Duke v North Carolina Wilmington Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: UNC-Wilmington

Mascot: Flying Squawks | School Location: Wilmington, NC | Conference: Colonial

2019 Record: 23-23 (7-8, 3rd) | 2018 RPI Rank: 192

2018 Record: 39-23 (14-9*, 4th) | 2018 RPI Rank: 60

2017 Record: 30-29 (16-8, 2nd) | 2017 RPI Rank: 138

*2018 Colonial Tournament Champions


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)

Game Time(s): Tuesday, April 30 @ 6:00pm

TV: ACC Network Extra

Radio: WKNC 88.1 in Raleigh, GoPack All-Access

Live Stats: Sidearm Stats


Tell me about this team

Considering the last preview is only 14 days old, let’s not get crazy here with wasting time redoing that whole thing; go check it out here.

When these two teams met two weeks ago, a football game broke out, which - to be fair - isn’t really fair for UNCW since they don’t even have a football team. There was a 14-7 tally on the scoreboard at the end, and even some broken teeth (we miss you, Will Wilson! Get better and come back soon!).

The Wolfpack prevailed, thankfully, (get your game recap here) but not without some drama involved. NC State pounded out 14 runs in the game on 10 hits and 10 walks while Wolfpack pitchers struck out 16 Seahawks hitters.

Since that game, NC State is 3-4 and UNCW is 3-5. Nothing like a couple of hot teams to really get you amped for midweek baseball! But if there’s one thing that will help ail a struggling team that’s played seven of its last eight games on the road, it’s a nice homestretch - and that’s just what NC State has on deck. Tonight’s game will be the first of an eight game home stand for the Wolfpack. This will be the Seahawks eight road game in their last nine overall.

Since the April 16th NC State win, UNCW has moved up eight spots in the RPI while NC State has dropped one spot.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Tuesday: TBA; but probably RHP Gage Herring (SO)


Key Players:

Offense

SS Greg Jones (SO) - .340 BA, .491 OBP, .519 SLG, 162 AB, 8 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 50 R, 22 RBI, 40 BB, 28 K, 29-36 SB. The projected 1st round pick for the June MLB Draft has lifted his batting average 19 points since prior to the first meeting of these teams with a 6:4 BB:K ratio. He’s only been 3-of-7 in stolen bases during that time, though.

DH/RF Kep Brown (RS-JR) - .284 BA, .350 OBP, .483 SLG, 176 AB, 10 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 28 R, 45 RBI, 15 BB, 46 K, 3-4 SB. Unlike Jones, Brown has been on the decline, with his average dropping 13 points. He has hit 3 2B and driven in 8 RBI during that time.

3B Cole Weiss (JR) - .306 BA, .395 OBP, .435 SLG, 186 AB, 7 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 29 R, 36 RBI, 26 BB, 29 K, 3-6 SB. Weiss has been hitting well over the last two weeks, raising his BA and OBP by 9 points each, and his SLG by 23 points (!). He’s riding a seven-game hitting streak.

CF Noah Bridges (SO) - .285 BA, .354 OBP, .399 SLG, 158 AB, 10 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 25 R, 37 RBI, 14 BB, 35 K, 13-14 SB. Bridges has been on fire lately with multiple hits in five of his last nine games, including a 2-for-4 effort against NC State with a grand slam. He still has a weak BB:K ratio over that span (2:7), but he’s pounded out a lot of hits. He’s also one of UNCW’s three base stealing threats (Jones, Jackson Meadows).

1B Brooks Baldwin (FR) - .241 BA, .327 OBP, .388 SLG, 170 AB, 9 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 26 R, 30 RBI, 22 BB, 42 K, 4-5 SB. Baldwin’s BA is the exact same from 14 days ago, and his OBP is just 1 point higher, but his SLG has dropped off a cliff as he’s only hit singles over that span. He didn’t play in the game vs State last time, but has hits in five of his last six games.

DH/UTIL Doug Angeli (SO) - .265 BA, .392 OBP, .324 SLG, 102 AB, 3 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 17 R, 13 RBI, 18 BB, 42 K, 1-2 SB. If you want someone to hate, this is your guy. This is the guy who decked Will Wilson during Wilson’s home run trot in the game two weeks ago that has kept Wilson on the shelf for all but one game since. Angeli’s been on a steady production decline since and was yanked from the Seahawks starting lineup since (ha!).

Pitching

RHP Gage Herring (SO) - 0-5, 0 SV, 4.58 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, .238 OBA, 24.1 K%, 15.3 BB%, 35.1 IP, 31 H, 23 R, 18 ER, 26 BB, 41 K. Herring has been very hit-or-miss this year as a starting pitcher, but has made three straight Tuesday starts, so he’s my guess to get the nod in this one, especially since his outing last week was pretty successful (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K vs Campbell). He made the start versus State last time, getting pulled in the 1st (0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K) after being unable to find the zone and getting hit hard when he did.

RHP Justin Walke (RS-SO) - 0-3, 0 SV, 4.84 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .250 OBA, 22.4 K%, 5.1 BB%, 22.1 IP, 22 H, 15 R, 12 ER, 5 BB, 22 K. Started Sunday’s game at Charleston, but was yanked in the 2nd inning after throwing 39 pitches (1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) and getting saddled with the loss (they lost 10-3, so he was hardly the only problem they had on the day). Started last Tuesday’s game against East Carolina and went 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K in a no decision. He also as the first arm out of the Seahawks bullpen two weeks ago against NC State in relief of Herring, going 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K in keeping UNCW in things until the latter half of the game.

LHP Blake Morgan (RS-SR) - 3-2, 2 SV, 2.45 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, .134 OBA, 27.3 K%, 7.6 BB%, 33.0 IP, 15 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 10 BB, 36 K. Didn’t appear in the game versus State last time, but has been outstanding in his two appearances since (7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), dropping his ERA by 75 points. Hasn’t allowed an earned run in over a month. This kid is good.

RHP Henry Ryan (JR) - 3-4, 2 SV, 4.37 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, .220 OBA, 19.2 K%, 13.1 BB%, 22.2 IP, 18 H, 13 R, 11 ER, 13 BB, 19 K. Ryan has been shellacked in his last two outings (1.0 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K), taking the loss in each of those games. He didn’t appear last time versus State, although he was pitching well at that time. His ERA has ballooned by almost 2.00 and hitters are now hitting almost 50 points better against him than before.

RHP Adam Smith (FR) - 0-0, 0 SV, 1.80 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, .250 OBA, 29.5 K%, 6.8 BB%, 10.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 11 K. Smith had only appeared on the mound in four games for the Seahawks prior to appearing in the matchup between these two schools two weeks ago, but since then he’s made three additional appearances. He went 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K against State.


Quick! Fun Facts!

Check out GoPack.com’s cool “History” feature on their page that details the series history between NC State and UNCW.

As you’ll see from the above linked page, NC State is 32-11 all-time versus UNCW, including a 20-2 home record.

The only way for UNCW to win the Colonial regular season title is to go 9-0 from here on out, for Elon (currently 16-2) to go 0-6, and for Charleston (10-5) to go 6-3 or worse. UNCW has the series victory over Charleston and still has the series with Elon to play.

Yesterday, UNCW announced current assistant coach Randy Hood as Mark Scalf’s replacement next year:


Prediction

Neither team has been playing great over the last couple of weeks, and this is likely to be a Johnny Wholestaff game for both squads. NC State at full strength takes this game easy, but with the Wolfpack being banged up all over the roster, it pulls these two more even.

Outcome: Punches are traded (hopefully not physically), but NC State wins, 6-4.