Greensboro, NC -- Guilford College's baseball team plays two games at Hooker Field in Martinsville, VA in the next two weeks. The NCAA Division III Quakers take on Southern Virginia University April 19 at 6:00 p.m. and Ferrum College April 26 at 6:00 p.m.
Guilford enters its April 14 contest at Roanoke College with a 21-12 record. The Quakers are enjoying their unprecedented fifth straight 20-win season and are in good position to secure one of six spots at the upcoming Old Dominion Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament, which will be held April 21-24 in Salem, VA. Coach Gene Baker's club has won 10 of their last 12 games thanks to an offensive surge that has raised the team batting average to .333. Junior outfielder Jeff Arzonico leads the team and ranks sixth in the ODAC with a .402 batting average and has a career-high 31 RBI. Junior first baseman Rob Bittner is Guilford's top power hitter with a .392 average, plus a team-high nine homers and 39 RBI. Sophomore right-handers Dave Whigham and Logan Collier have been the team's top starting pitchers to date with five wins apiece.
The Quakers defeated Southern Virginia earlier this season, 12-2, in Greensboro. The contest marked the Knights' season opener and extended Guilford's advantage in the season series to 11-3. Southern Virginia, coached by Jerry Schlegelmilch, carries a 7-17 record into an April 15 doubleheader at Chowan. The Knights placed third at the 2004 United States Collegiate Athletic Association National Baseball Tournament and finished the season with a 16-19 record.
Guilford also has a win over Ferrum this season. The Quakers pulled out a 13-9 victory in 10 innings March 30 at Ferrum. Coach Abe Naff's Panthers take a 16-10-1 record into the USA South Athletic Conference Baseball Tournament in Danville, VA, April 15-18. Third baseman Brett Thomas had an impressive .433 batting average and four homers through games of April 10 and was a First Team All-USA South pick this year. Outfielder Brent Sowers hit .341 and earned second-team laurels.
Owned and operated by the city of Martinsville, Hooker Field opened in 1988 and served as the home of an Appalachian League franchise from 1988-2003. Guilford has played at least one game in Hooker field in each of the past three years. Hooker Field served as the host of a 2004 NCAA Division III Regional Baseball Tournament and is home to the collegiate Coastal Plains League's Martinsville Mustangs, who begin play this June.