The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

March 6, 2013

Concord to host Seton Hill in big early-season series

The premier series of the season in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference — at least on paper — will take place before spring even starts.

Concord will host Seton Hill this weekend in a battle of preseason picks to win their respective divisions. The teams will play a seven-inning doubleheader starting at noon Saturday, and the finale will be a single nine-inning game, also at noon, at Concord’s Anderson Field.

“It’s good to see where you are early,” Mountain Lions coach Andrew Wright said.

The Lions are 5-8 after getting swept last weekend at Shippensburg. No shame there — the Raiders are the No. 1 team in the NCAA Division II Atlantic Region and No. 20 in the nation.

In the Griffins, Concord will face perennially one of the top teams in the conference. Seton Hill, the 2010 league champion, has appeared in three straight Atlantic Region tournaments.

“I know they can pitch,” Wright said. “That’s for sure.”

Seton Hill returns 2012 WVIAC Pitcher of the Year Alex Haines. The junior left-hander has not been involved in a decision and has a 4.22 earned run average in two starts thus far, a year after he went 7-2 with a 4.24 ERA and 108 strikeouts and just 38 walks in 70 innings.

But the Griffins, who were 3-3 going into today’s doubleheader with Clarion, are about more than just arms. They are batting .294 as a team, averaging 5.5 runs per game early in the season.

“They are the definition of a good baseball team,” Wright said. “They pitch well and they do enough offensively to beat you. The way to defense that is to pitch well on your end and do some things offensively.”

Concord is getting plenty of both.

The offense is led by Josh Wenger (.433, 12 runs batted in) and Bret Blevins (.417, 15 runs scored). First baseman Joey Miller is hitting .314 and leads the team with four home runs and 20 RBIs.

Miller is in his first season with the Mountain Lions after transferring from Frederick (Md.) Community College.

“He has been a nice addition to the middle of our order,” Wright said. “It’s nice to have that kind of presence in your lineup. And of course Bret Blevins is playing like he is capable.”

Junior Ryan Weatherholtz (1-1, 5.28) and Tyler Coyle (1-1, 6.97) have bolstered the rotation to this point. Coyle will get the nod in the second game. The Game 1 starter will be Drew Spear (0-2, 8.24), while junior Tyler Zimm (1-1, 6.48), an Oak Hill graduate, will start the third game.

Wright said the most noticeable improvement is in the bullpen. Tim Leather is 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA in six relief appearances. Will Zuspan, a junior out of Wahama who made a name for himself when Concord rolled to the 2011 tournament championship, has a 2.08 ERA in five appearances.

“We are going to be able to hold more leads than we have in the past,” Wright said, adding that Oak Hill alumnus Dustin Nuckels “will be a big-time guy for us out of the bullpen.”

— E-mail: gfauber

@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Mountaineers beat Buckeyes 4-1 in lefty Vance’s first career start

    In his first career start for the WVU baseball team, sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out 14 en route to a 4-1 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 15, 2014

  • Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage last Saturday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Wesleyan edges CU twice in softball

    The Concord University softball narrowly dropped a pair of games to No. 17 West Virginia Wesleyan, 2-1 and 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Culpepper Field.

    April 14, 2014

  • Concord baseball shuts out Cardinals

    The Concord University baseball team posted two shutout victories on Sunday, extending its winning streak to seven games by beating conference foe Wheeling Jesuit.

    April 14, 2014

  • dana Much still to be answered this fall

    In Saturday’s paper, I compiled a list of five things to watch at West Virginia University’s annual Gold-Blue Spring Game. Now, after watching the football scrimmage that concluded this year’s spring drills and taking some time to process what I saw, it’s time to go back and revisit those five points and how they turned out on Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni speculation now seems to have legs

    Kareem Canty got what he wanted, and Marshall fans should find out this week if they will get what they want.

    April 13, 2014

  • millard Specials teams shine at Gold-Blue Game

    The scoreboard said the Gold (offense) beat the Blue (defense) 37-27 in Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game at Milan Puskar Stadium using a modified scoring system that rewarded the defense for stops and turnovers and the offense for scores.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • syvertson ‘Huey the Punter’ makes transition to LB

    The first reaction of the 10,000 fans in attendance at Milan Puskar Stadium for Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game when No. 42 shot through the offensive line and put junior college transfer quarterback Skyler Howard on the ground in the second half was to ooh and aah.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • crutchfield Crutchfield again named Furfari Award winner

    Already the winningest men’s basketball coach in college history in terms of percentage — yes, better than guys like John Wooden, Adolph Rupp and Roy Williams — West Liberty’s Jim Crutchfield is heading into some lofty territory within the confines of his home state.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Five things to watch at WVU spring game

    Spring practice will come to an end for West Virginia University this afternoon when the Mountaineer football team hosts the annual Gold-Blue Spring Game at 1 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium.

    April 11, 2014