April 22, 2010
Full Notes (PDF)
The season’s final homestand continues this weekend for Truman baseball with the schedule’s toughest task as No. 2 Central Missouri visits Bulldog Park for four games on Saturday and Sunday. Both days will feature doubleheaders starting at 12 pm.
Truman (11-34, 6-26 MIAA) is set to face a UCM (36-5, 28-4) squad that received one first-place vote in this week’s NCBWA top-25 poll and are atop both the MIAA and South Central region with two weekends to play.
The Bulldogs will knock off half of its remaining schedule this weekend, with only a four-game set against Fort Hays State remaining on the 2010 slate.
Earlier this week, Truman dropped both ends of a weekday doubleheader against GLVC and in-state foe Missouri S&T at Bulldog Park. The Miners captured an eight-inning 3-2 win in game one on Wednesday afternoon before taking a 12-5 decision in game two.
Truman and Central Missouri will be meeting for the 148th-151st times in the all-time series this weekend, with the Mules owning a 126-21 record against the Bulldogs.
Last season, Truman lost a pair of doubleheaders to the Mules in Warrensburg on April 17-18, 2009.
The Bulldogs will be looking to exact some long-standing revenge against UCM this weekend, as the Mules have won 68 straight in the series dating back to April 15, 1989, when Truman won 6-4 in the first game of a doubleheader in Warrensburg.
‘DOGS AT THE PLATE:
Freshman OF Brett Budd (.319 AVG) has been the most consistent hitter for the Bulldogs this spring. However, two other Truman hitters have been seeing the ball well lately. During their past 10 games, Junior IF/DH Luke Crader (.393 AVG) and senior OF Keaton Jones (.354 AVG) have led the Bulldogs offensively.
‘DOGS ON THE HILL:
The Bulldog pitching staff has seen their team ERA drop significantly this season, as Truman’s ERA is 5.87, lowest since 1992 (4.53) and second lowest since 1986 (5.72).
Sophomore right-hander Ryan Trimble (4-4, 2.97 ERA) and freshman righty Jarrett Eiskina (2-4, 4.71 ERA) have been Truman’s most consistent pitchers this year. Trimble leads the team in innings pitched (60.2) and Eiskina’s strikeouts (48) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (48:15) is tops on the Bulldogs’ staff.
SCOUTING THE MULES:
Curently the nation’s No. 2 team, the University of Central Missouri is second in the MIAA in team batting average (.343) and sit four games up on No. 12 Emporia State with eight games to play.
The Mules are led by junior IF Nick DeBiasse (.447 BA, 17 doubles, 11 home runs, 49 RBIs) and senior OF Chance Tuttle (.421 BA, nine home runs, 40 RBIs, 21 stolen bases).
The Mules are tops in the MIAA in team ERA (3.22) and are led by senior RHP Brooks Martin (8-0, 1.39 ERA, 51.2 IP, 71 K’s), Junior RHP Matt Curtis (7-0, 2.93 ERA, 46 IP) and senior RHP Ryan Allen (5-1, 3.21 ERA, 47.2 IP) are also expected to start for UCM this weekend.
Out of the ‘pen, Alex Kent has been nearly lights-out in the set-up role, throwing 36 innings and surrendering just four earned runs for a 1.00 ERA and a 6-0 record. Senior Nick Phillips is the squad’s closer, having garnered seven saves with a 3.86 ERA.
With only two weekend sets left on the schedule, senior OF Keaton Jones is inching closer to becoming Truman’s all-time career leader in hits and at-bats. Jones needs 11 hits to break Patrick Hardin’s record (191) and just 12 at-bats to break Adam Davis’ record (617).
The Iowa City, Iowa native also sits fourth all-time in doubles (31), sixth in RBI (90), 10th in runs (83), and eighth in total bases (224).
RELIEVER POISED TO SET NEW HIGH:
On Wednesday, in game two against Missouri S&T, senior RHP Pete Johnson moved beside Dan Hillen (2003-2005) as Truman’s all-time appearances leader with 50 in his four seasons. Johnson is also tied for sixth on Truman’s career saves list (4).
The final games of the 2010 season are on tap next weekend, as the Bulldogs will host Fort Hays State for the first time with the Tigers as members of the MIAA. The four-game set will take place from Friday through Sunday at Bulldog Park.