The Samford Bulldogs baseball team (7-9) will begin its Southern Conference schedule on Friday against the ETSU Owls.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs traveled to College Station, Texas, for a series with Texas A&M. The Bulldogs lost all three games to the Aggies — the second time they have been swept in a weekend series this year, the first set of losses coming at the hands of the Florida Gators.
On offense, the Bulldogs have a .232 team batting average at the plate. Last season, Samford’s total team average was .310 before the season was suspended due to COVID-19.
Head coach Casey Dunn’s offense has been led by Towns King and Sonny DiChiara. Towns leads the team in batting average (.323) and DiChiara leads the team in home runs (5) and RBIs (11).
In order for the Bulldogs to increase their success at the plate, key hitters will have to find their stride early in the SoCon schedule. This includes Brooks Carlson (.171), who had the top batting average for Samford last season, and Garrett Howe (.219).
As for the defense, the Bulldogs’ pitching staff has a 7.78 overall ERA, compared to their 3.09 ERA last season.
Samuel Strickland has been the Bulldogs’ top pitcher this season, pitching 21 total innings and maintaining an ERA of 3.0. The Bulldogs will need to find more consistency in their relief and closing pitchers to have a successful SoCon season on the mound.
There will be plenty of unknowns in the SoCon this season, mainly because the 2020 season was halted just before the conference games commenced due to COVID-19.
In the SoCon, Western Carolina currently has the best overall record in the conference (11-4), followed by UNCG (10-5) and ETSU (10-5).
The Bulldogs will play several high-profile games throughout the SoCon schedule. On April 13 and May 4, they will play the Alabama Crimson Tide. On April 20 and May 11, the Bulldogs will play the Auburn Tigers. The Bulldogs will also play UAB at Regions Field in Birmingham on May 18.
The Samford vs. UNCG weekend series will begin this Friday, March 19 in Greensboro, North Carolina, at 1 p.m. CST. The second game of the series will directly follow the first game on Friday. The third and final game will take place on Saturday at noon.