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Opponent Preview: UNC Greensboro

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Meet the Spartans...

Fairfield v North Carolina-Greensboro Photo by Andy Mead/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Who’s the Pack playing?

Opponent: UNC Greensboro

Mascot: Old Greek Dudes | School Location: The Borough of Nathaniel, NC | Conference: Southern

2022 Record: 6-5 (0-0, T-1st) | 2022 RPI Rank: 129

2021 Record: 27-25 (12-18, 4th) | 2021 RPI Rank: 103

2020 Record: 11-5 (0-0, T-1st) | 2020 RPI Rank: 73


When? Where? How do I watch?

Location: UNCG Baseball Stadium (Greensboro, NC)

Game Time(s): Tues, Mar 8 @ 3:00pm

TV: ESPN+ (Tuesday)

Radio: GoPack.com (Tuesday)

Live Stats: Stat Broadcast


Tell me about this team

Billy Godwin is a great coach with a solid resume. True to his background, he’s put together a club this year in Greensboro that is solid with the bat (.304/.387/.429) and solid in the field (.975 fielding percentage). The Spartans don’t give up easy outs at the bat or extra outs in the field.

The pitching staff will be what holds this team back. As a group, UNCG has a 5.33 ERA, allowing opponents to hit .327 on the season. They’ve also allowed 22 doubles and 16 home runs. The Spartans have an ace in Austin Parsley, and Jared Mathewson has been a solid #2 thus far, but UNCG needs to find a third weekend starter if they’re going to make some noise in a tough SoCon this year.

Alex Hoppe would seemingly be that third starter, but Godwin and crew moved him to the bullpen to try and shore up a weakness there. And that bullpen is a problem. Remove Parsley and Mathewson and UNCG pitchers have allowed 70 runs in 58.2 innings. Hoppe is the only other pitcher with an ERA below 3.00, having allowed 7 runs (4 earned) in 12.1 innings.

There is potential with this team if UNCG can find a few capable bullpen arms, but the bats and starting pitching will have to carry an uneven workload until that happens.


Who’s on the mound for these guys?

Wednesday: RHP Hunter Shuey (FR)


Key Players:

Offense

1B Hogan Windish (JR) - .422/.451/.667, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 6 R, 18 RBI, 4 BB, 7 K, 0 HBP, 3-4 SB. Big right-handed power bat at the clean-up spot for the Spartans. Bashed 10 HR a year ago and then another 14 last summer. Seven multi-hit games already this year.

OF Kennedy Jones (FR) - .413/.449/.630, 4 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 12 R, 15 RBI, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HBP, 0-0 SB. The freshman who has a hit in every game he’s played in thus far. He was the most ready-made impact freshman bat and has lived up to the billing, already jumping up to the leadoff hitter spot in the lineup.

LF/RF Pres Cavenaugh (SO) - .286/.404/.548, 4 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 12 R, 9 RBI, 9 BB, 5 K, 0 HBP, 1-2 SB. Corner outfielder will be on a lot of teams’ draft radars this spring. Nice lefty swing with some pop, and he moves well, too. Two-hole hitter for the Spartans

SS Zack Budzik (JR) - .364/.420/.500, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 9 K, 1 HBP, 5-7 SB. Undersized shortstop who is finally having the breakout year that everyone has waited for since his freshman campaign in 2019. Aggressive on the bases

Pitching

RHP Hunter Shuey (FR) - 0-0, 7.11 ERA, 6.1 IP, 9 H, 7 BB, 4 K. Athletic right-hander who was a multi-sport athlete in high school. Low 90’s fastball couples with a good slider. His overall stat line looks really rough, but most of the damage was against Wake Forest in his first outing; the last two have been much better.

RHP Alex Hoppe (SR) - 2-1, 1 SV, 2.92 ERA, 12.1 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 12 K. A weekend starter for the Spartans in 2021, has moved back into the bullpen this year where he’s been a workhorse. Third in the team in innings already despite not having a start under his belt.

LHP Price King (JR) - 0-0, 0 SV, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 BB, 6 K. No, not a 1980’s furniture superstore, just a big boy pitcher at 6’2, 250 lbs. Threw 3.0 innings on Sunday so we may not see him, but he’s their best lefty reliever.


Quick! Fun Facts!

Admission to the game is free according to the UNCG website, so if you’re in the Greensboro area, head on out to the ballpark! It’s gonna be in the mid-to-low 60’s. Great night for a baseball game.

Not so much on the fun side, but Price King hates geese.

UNCG has been to just one NCAA Regional since 1997, the Clemson Regional in 2017.

Did you know the coach of that 2017 UNCG team was none other than Link Jarrett, father of NC State second baseman J.T. Jarrett?


Prediction

With a young pitcher on the mound and a liability of a bullpen for UNCG, this should be an opportunity for State’s hitters to break out of the funk.

Outcome: A win for State, hopefully...