The Hatters make a brief return home when they host Volusia County rival Bethune-Cookman, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at Melching Field. Fresh from an Atlantic Sun Conference road trip to Northern Kentucky, Stetson plays its next four games on the road after Tuesday’s contest.
Stetson is looking regain some of the momentum it lost after dropping two of three at NKU last weekend. The Hatters were out scored 24-8 in Saturday’s doubleheader against the Norse, but rebounded behind the pitching of freshman Taylor Cockrell to salvage Sunday’s finale by a 6-2 score.
Stetson vs. Bethune-Cookman
Stetson and Bethune-Cookman are meeting for the 88th time on Tuesday. The Hatters own a 69-18 advantage in the series, including 47-6 in games played in DeLand.
Pete Dunn has been Stetson’s head coach for all of the games in the series, which began in 1981. Stetson has won six of the last 11 games, but the Wildcats have won the last two meeting, including a 3-1 win on Feb. 25 in Daytona Beach.
Scouting the Hatters
Stetson’s up-and-down season continued last week, as the Hatters went 3-2. Stetson swept a midweek series from USF (6-3, 2-1), then dropped two of three games at Northern Kentucky.
Freshman pitcher Taylor Cockrell was Stetson’s lone bright spot this weekend, as he tossed a complete game with eight strikeouts and no walks in the Hatters’ 6-2 victory in Sunday’s finale. It was the second complete game of the season for Cockrell, and lowered his season ERA to 3.76.
Sophomore 1B/C Patrick Mazeika continues to lead the team offensively. His .397 batting average ranks second in the A-Sun. He leads the conference in on-base percentage (.510), ranks second in doubles (12), fourth in walks (19), fourth in hits (46), and is tied for the league lead in hit-by-pitch (9).
Junior C Garrett Russini continued his fine recent play last week, going 9-for-19 with four RBI. He is now batting .294-2-20.
Stetson’s offense was bolstered by the return of junior DH Josh Powers. After missing the previous five games with an oblique injury, Powers started all three games at NKU and knocked in three runs in the opener, including blasting his first career home run.
Sophomore Tyler Warmoth is currently tied for third in the A-Sun with a career-high six saves.
Three Dot Data
1B/C Patrick Mazeika is hitting .492 (29-59) over his last 16 games ... Mazeika leads the A-Sun with a .510 on-base percentage, and ranks second with a .397 batting average ... C Garrett Russini has seen steady improvement in his offense in the last 16 games, raising his batting average from .203 to .294 by hitting .400 (22-55) in that span. He also has two homers and 18 RBI in those 15 games ... OF Mike Fernland and DH Josh Powers each connected for their first career home runs in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Northern Kentucky ... both homers came in the seventh inning, the first time the Hatters have hit multiple home runs in the same inning since May13, 2012 at ETSU ... sophomore Kevin Fagan made his first pitching appearance of the season last Wednesday against USF and earned the save by pitching the final two innings ... when SS Tyler Bocock and Russini each homered in the first game of Stetson’s doubleheader at ETSU it marked the first time the Hatters had more than one home run in a game since also hitting a pair at ETSU on May 13, 2012, a span of 88 games. It only took six games for it to happen again, when Josh Powers and Mike Fernland each went deep in Saturday’s first game at NKU.
The Hatters return to Atlantic Sun Conference play when they visit Kennesaw State for a three-game series, beginning 6 p.m., Friday.