The East Central University baseball team will head to Durant, Okla., for the final regular-season games of the 2014 season, with a three-game Great American Conference series against Southeastern Oklahoma State. A single game is set for Friday, April 25 at 2 p.m. and a double-header for Saturday, April 26 at 1 p.m.
Fans who can’t be at the game can find links to live stats, live video (if available) on ECUTigers.com. Go to the baseball schedule page.
The Savage Storm are 20-21 overall and 11-16 in the GAC this season after going 1-2 against Southwestern last weekend. This weekend’s game will mark the first time since 2009 that ECU has made the trip to Durant and the first time there for head coach Dino Rosato.
SEOSU has a .246 team batting average and is allowing just a .265 mark. They are even in runs scored 183, but have a 289 to 323 hits deficit.
Chevis Springer is the leader at the plate for the Savage Storm with a .320 average. He has tallied 30 runs, 48 hits and 14 RBIs for the season.
SEOSU has four main pitchers that have all pitched between 44 and 58 innings. Mason Crenshaw has been the most successful, with a 6-1 record in 53.2 innings of work. He also has nine saves on the season, while allowing 44 hits and 15 runs and striking out 58.
Against the Savage Storm
In 2013, the Tigers took the series with SEOSU 2-1 at Tiger Field.
Senior Ethan Gold is the only ECU returner to see action at the plate, recording a .250 average on one hit. Senior Robert Buitrago threw 4.1 innings and allowed four hits and struck out three.
Chevis Springer is the top returner for the Savage Storm at the plate, with a .364 average, four hits, six runs and two RBIs. SEOSU has no returning pitchers for last year’s series.
Writing in New Records
The Tigers 10-game winning streak between March 11 and March 25 was the longest in the record books that date back to the 1996 season. The previous longest streak was seven games during the 2012 season (March 17-March 27) and 1999 (Feb. 27- March 4).
Career Win No. 100
ECU head coach Dino Rosato claimed his 100th career victory this season when the Tigers defeated Dallas Christian, 4-1, March 19 at Tiger Field.
National Strikeout Leader
Junior Icezack Flemming has made an immediate impact for the Tigers on the mound, recording 105 this season. His total not only puts him at the top of the GAC category, but he is the NCAA’s Division II Strikeout leader as of April 20. The next person on the list has 97. For his efforts he is currently ranked No. 1 in the GAC in strikeouts (105), No. 1 in complete games (10) and No. 4 in innings pitched (80.1) and No. 6 wins (7). He is also ranked No. 2 in the NCAA in complete games (10) and No. 6 in games started (12).
Donohoe Earns GAC Player of the Week
Junior Garrett Donohoe was been named the Great American Conference Player of the Week for March 10 after helping the Tigers to a 2-1 record over the weekend against Harding.
Donohoe started the weekend series by hitting .857 in the double-header March 7. Donohoe hit for the cycle in the games, with two singles, two doubles, a triple and home run, while garnering six RBIs. The Lake Forest, Calif., native added six put outs and four assisted outs. He ended the weekend with a .636 batting average, seven hits and six RBIs.
Taking Down Ranked Teams
The Tigers had a strong road GAC weekend, Feb. 28-March 1, earning a 2-1 record against then-No. 17 Arkansas Tech. ECU fell in the opening game 2-12, but rebounding to win 9-1 and 7-3 in Saturday’s double-header. The Tigers then added two wins over No. 4/5 Southern Arkansas April 4-5. ECU lost the first game of the series (1-16) and then took 6-1 and 5-1 wins at Tiger Field.
Home Run Performance
The Tigers had a strong weekend at the plate against Henderson State, recording five home runs, including a grand slam. The weekend total surpasses what ECU put together all of the 2013 season (4).
Pomales Pounding Away
Junior Luc Pomales had a strong week for the Tigers, with seven hits, four RBIs and two runs scored against Ouachita Baptist and Texas Wesleyan. Pomales tallied one home run, a slugging percentage of .667, a .467 hitting percentage, stole a base and was 8-for-8 in the field.
GAC Preseason Poll
ECU will have a lot to prove, as the Tigers were picked to finish 11th (13 points) in the 2014 Great American Conference Preseason Poll, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Southern Arkansas was a clear top choice with 100 points and 10-of-11 first-place votes. Arkansas Tech was the only other team to receive a first-place vote, finishing second with 88 points. Southwestern Oklahoma State was picked third (78 points), Arkansas-Monticello fourth (63), Henderson State fifth (61), Harding sixth (55), Ouachita Baptist seventh (50), Southeastern Oklahoma state eighth (46), Northwestern Oklahoma State ninth (25) and Southern Nazarene 10th (19).
The Tigers, along with Harding, Southwestern, Ouachita Baptist, Southeastern and Henderson State are all vying for the final three spots in the 2014 GAC Tournament, May 3-6 in Enid, Okla. ECU is currently tied for fifth in the standings, with the top six earning a trip to Enid. All six teams are within five games of each other in the standings.