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The headline baseball event from the Lexington Legends four-game homestead that begins Thursday may be the return of a former UK star with Hagerstown, but the Legends have some storylines of their own to watch for the weekend.
Former UK All-SEC pitcher and 2012 first-round draft pick Alex Meyer will start versus the Legends Friday night at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The Legends will counter with reigning South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week Nick Tropeano in what may be the team’s best pitching matchup so far in 2012.
As you prepare for the Friday night marquee matchup, here are some other Legends storylines to watch for the four-game series versus Hagerstown.
Legends look to carry road success to Whitaker Bank Ballpark
The Legends just finished a 4-3 road trip to improve their road record to 10-8 on the season. The team has not experienced that same success at home, where it has a 5-9 record.
Legends hitters are batting .226 in 14 home games, compared to .255 on the road. Lexington pitchers have experienced better success at Whitaker Bank Ballpark with a 4.20 ERA, compared to a 4.53 ERA on the road.
Infielder Matt Duffy has been the Legends’ best hitter at home with a .351 batting average, four home runs, 11 RBI and eight runs scored. Outfielder Drew Muren has batted .282 with one home run, five RBI and three runs scored in 11 home games.
Right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewciz is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 10 strikeouts in two home starts. Former Eastern High School right-handed reliever Jason Chowning has not surrendered an earned run in 10 and one-third home innings while striking out 12 batters and walking seven.
Duffy, Hinson look to continue hot streaks
Legends infielders John Hinson and Matt Duffy are both 7-18 (.389) in their last five games. In that span, Hinson has also slugged a home run, driven in three runs and scored six times. Duffy has driven in two runs and scored twice in the last five games.
The five-game span was a cap to a strong road trip for Duffy. He was 10-25 (.400) with five RBI and five runs scored in the seven-game trip.
Hinson has tallied at least one hit in six of his eight games with the Legends. Since an 0-4 performance in his debut, Hinson is 12-27 (.444) with two home runs, five RBI and eight runs scored. He has two hits in each of his last three games and has already tallied five multi-hit games in his brief Legends career.
Chowning scoreless streak continues
Legends right-handed reliever Jason Chowning has yet to surrender an earned run in 11 games this season. He has surrendered four unearned runs on the year, but has held opponents scoreless in his last seven appearances, a span of 11 and one-third innings.
Chowning has earned five saves on the season and has struck out 22 batters while walking eight in 16 and one-third innings pitched. Opponents are batting .143 against him on the season, and he has prevented four of his six inherited baserunners from scoring.
The Eastern High School alum originally committed to UK out of high school, but transferred before ever appearing in a game for the Wildcats. He eventually found his way to Oklahoma and was selected in the 28th round of the 2010 draft by the Astros.
Probable starters for Lexington vs. Hagerstown
Thursday — RHP Jonas Dufek vs. RHP Nathan Karns
Friday — RHP Nick Tropeano vs. RHP Alex Meyer
Saturday — RHP Luis Ordosgoitti vs. RHP Taylor Hill
Sunday — RHP Mike Foltynewicz vs. RHP Wirkin Estevez