Richard R. Barron/The Ada NewsEast Central's Josh Reeves (22), a junior from Krum, Texas, watches the action from first base during action earlier this season. The Tigers will be looking for their first win in 2017 when Arkansas-Monticell visits Ken Turner Field Friday and Saturday.

ADA — The East Central University baseball team will be at Ken Turner Field this weekend for the opening Great American Conference series of the 2017 season.

The Tigers (0-7) will face Arkansas-Monticello in a single game at 2 p.m. today, with a doubleheader planned for noon on Saturday.

ECU is coming off a home-and-home series with Central Oklahoma. Senior Kaleb Matthews led the Tigers with a .500 batting average, three hits and 14 putouts. Junior Connor Stevenson added a .364 average, two runs, four hits, two home runs and two RBIs.

The Boll Weevils are 2-4 so far this season. UAM has played just one true road game this season, picking up a win.

Nick Piraino is the top player at the plate for the Boll Weevils, with a .476 average, three runs, 10 hits and two RBIs. He is one of four players hitting over .400 on the year, but he is the only one who has played in all six games.

UAM has used a total of 11 pitchers this year, with only two seeing action in nine or more innings. Landon McFaden and Dawson Moser are both 1-0, with a 0.00 ERA and five strikeouts. McFadden has played in four games, with 7.0 innings of work and allowing five strikeouts. Moser has pitched in three innings and allowed two hits.

A year ago, the Boll Weevils won all three games against the Tigers in the series played in Monticello, Arkansas. ECU hit .188 in the series and allowed a .361 average. The Tigers trailed 35-15 in hits and 26-5 in runs.

Junior Jacob Cowling led the Tigers’ hitting, with a .667 average and two hits. Senior JT Stevenson added a .400 average, two hits and an RBI.

Junior Shae Edmonds was one of six pitchers to see action in the series, throwing a complete game, allowing five runs and six hits and striking out two.

UAM’s top returners from the series are Guy Halbert and Nick Piraino. Halbert hit .545, with a run, six hits and two RBIs. Piraino added a .500 average, five hits, three runs and two RBIs.

Grant Black and Braden Chambers both earned wins on the mound in the series. Black threw a shutout, allowing seven hits and striking out four. Chambers allowed three hits and two runs, while striking out four.

UAM leads the overall series 10-6, including a 9-5 mark in the GAC. However, ECU has done better at home, with a 5-3 record. While the Boll Weevils have been the victors in the last four games, ECU went 2-1 the last time the teams played at Ken Turner Field.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.