DonateTicketsEnewsMobile AppsYoutubeTwitterFacebookLive StatsLive Video
Kevin Fagan had eight hits in three games last weekend.
by: David S. Williams
No. 5 NC State Visits Melching Field on Tuesday
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  03/10/2014
Share |
First Pitch
Stetson continues its eight-game home stand when the Hatters host fifth-ranked NC State, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday. It’s the first of back-to-back midweek games against nationally ranked opponents. The Hatters also host No. 13 Miami on Wednesday.
    Tuesday’s game is the fourth this season for the Hatters against an ACC team, after previously winning two of three against Boston College.
    Stetson is looking to build on a weekend in which the Hatters swept three games from Siena. It was Stetson’s first weekend sweep since taking all three games from Northern Kentucky last May.

Stetson vs. NC State
Tuesday’s game is the sixth meeting between the Hatters and Wolfpack, with Stetson holding a slim 3-2 lead in the all-time series. Stetson and NC State last met in the 2011 Columbia Regional, where Stetson earned a pair of victories, 8-7 and 5-3. The teams first met in 1950 in DeLand’s old Conrad Park. Stetson and NC State have never played in Raleigh. In fact, four of the five meetings have taken place at NCAA Regionals, including Tallahassee (1988; a 4-1 Stetson win) and Coral Gables (1990; a 13-2 NC State victory).

Scouting the Wolfpack
A 2013 College World Series participant, NC State currently ranks in the top 10 of all four major polls. The Wolfpack owns a 13-2 record and swept last weekend’s ACC series with Notre Dame. NC State boasts a pair of likely 2014 MLB first-round draft picks in LHP Carlos Rodon and SS Trea Turner.    
    Tuesday’s game will be just the second true road game of the season for NC State. The Wolfpack have played 13 of their 15 games at home, due in part to a winter storm which wiped out their season-opening series at UC Santa Barbara.
Hatters Sweep Siena
Stetson enjoyed its most productive and successful weekend of the season when it swept last weekend’s three-game series against Siena. The Hatters batted .387 and pitched to a 2.33 team ERA, and the defense made just three errors.
    INF/OF Kevin Fagan was 8-for-12 with seven runs scored against the Saints, while 1B/DH Josh Powers was 8-for-14 with five RBI. Freshman right-hander Taylor Cockrell tossed his first career complete game on Sunday, striking out a career-high 10 batters in the process.
    The Hatters were uncharacteristically aggressive on the base paths, swiping nine bases in 11 attempts. Kyle Zech stole four bases in three games, giving him a team-leading seven for the season.

Cockrell Named A-Sun Pitcher of the Week
Stetson freshman Taylor Cockrell has been named Atlantic Sun Conference pitcher of the week, the league office announced on Monday.
    Cockrell earns the first weekly A-Sun award of his career after tossing a complete game, five-hitter on Sunday against Siena. The right-hander from Lake Wales, Fla., struck out 10 batters and only allowed one walk. Cockrell needed only 106 pitches to subdue the Saints.
    Cockrell’s efforts helped the Hatters (5-11) to a series sweep of Siena. Cockrell is 1-2 with a 5.09 ERA in seven appearances this season.

Three Dot Data
This year marks the 15th season of Melching Field at Conrad Park. Opened in 1999, Melching Field has hosted over 500 Stetson games. The Hatters are 364-185 (.663) all-time at Melching Field, with an average attendance of 1,115 fans. Melching Field as been the host of 10 A-Sun Conference tournaments ... the Hatters face what head coach Pete Dunn calls the most challenging schedule in his 35 years as head coach... Stetson plays a total of 13 games against ACC and SEC foes this season (Ole Miss-3, Boston College-3, Florida State-3, South Carolina-2, Miami-1, NC State-1) ... Stetson also faces seven teams who participated in the 2013 NCAA Tournament (Ole Miss, South Carolina, NC State, Miami, FSU, Mercer, ETSU) ... sophomore first baseman Patrick Mazeika was recently named by Baseball America as the A-Sun’s number three prospect for the 2015 MLB Draft ... catcher Garrett Russini is currently tied for the A-Sun lead with three triples.

Hatters Picked Sixth, Mazeika Honored
Stetson’s baseball team was picked to finish sixth in the 2014 Atlantic Sun Conference race, and sophomore first baseman Patrick Mazeika was a unanimous selection to the Preseason All-Conference team in voting by A-Sun head coaches.
    The Hatters received a total of 60 points in the coaches poll, finishing just behind fifth place Kennesaw State (64). Stetson returns six seniors among its 19 letter winners from last season’s 26-31 squad.
    Defending regular-season champion Mercer received seven first place votes and 97 total points en route to being named as the preseason favorite. North Florida (86) received one first place vote, while Florida Gulf Coast (73) received two first place votes. Defending tournament champion East Tennessee (69) is fourth in the preseason poll, followed by Kennesaw State, Stetson, Lipscomb (34), USC Upstate (30), Jacksonville (27) and Northern Kentucky (10).
    Mazeika was one of three unanimous selections to the Preseason All-Conference team. The 2013 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Mazeika batted .382 with three home runs and 33 RBI in 57 games. Mazeika was also a first-team all-conference selection and was a consensus Freshman All-America honoree.
    Mercer’s Chesny Young was named preseason player of the year, while Chad Sobotka of USC Upstate and Michael Massi of Mercer were named as pitcher and defensive player of the year, respectively.

Stetson Baseball History
A participant in Florida’s first intercollegiate baseball game in 1902 (W, 4-0 vs. Rollins), Stetson has been playing baseball since 1901. The Hatters are beginning their 97th season of competition, with the program being dormant during both World Wars.
    The Hatters have had plenty of success on the field, winning 1,913 total games and carrying a .571 winning percentage into the 2014 season.
    Stetson has participated in 17 NCAA Regionals, 2011 being the last time, and captured eight Atlantic Sun Conference championships (Stetson was an independent in baseball until 1987).
    Stetson has produced its share of Major League Baseball talent as well, boasting a pair of first round draft picks and nine Major Leaguers, including current Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson and Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber. Others to play in the big leagues include: Brian Bocock, Lenny DiNardo, Eric Knott, Kevin Nicholson, Wade Rowdon, Bill Swaggerty and George Tsamis.

Up Next
The Hatters host No. 13 Miami, 6:30 p.m., Wednesday.

Stetson Baseball