JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2012) – The Eastern Kentucky baseball team opened the day with a 7-6 extra inning victory and rode that momentum for an 8-2 game two win to complete the doubleheader sweep of ETSU on Saturday at Thomas Stadium.
In game one, the Colonels scored a run to tie it up in the ninth inning before eventually getting a game-winning solo home run from Dustin Dunlop. With the score tied 2-2 in game two of the day, EKU scored six runs in the middle innings to break the tie.
Senior Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the way for the Bucs offensively as he went a combined 3-for-7 in the two games with two home runs and three RBIs. Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.), Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) and Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) each had three hits on the day as well.
Game One Recap
Eastern Kentucky got off to a quick start in the first inning by scoring two runs on two hits. Freeman, who started on the mound for the Bucs, looked comfortable early after getting two quick outs to start the game. However, Jacob Daniel doubled to right field and Bryan Soloman followed with a two-run home run to left field – putting the Colonels in front 2-0.
ETSU answered in the bottom half of the first as Scruggs blasted his second homer of the year to pull the Bucs within one.
The Bucs tied the score in the second inning as John Long (Anderson, S.C.) started the inning with a towering home run to left center field – in his first at-bat of the year.
Freeman helped his own cause with a triple to lead off the inning and came around to score on a Long RBI ground out.
Freeman ran into trouble in the fifth inning with the Bucs in front 3-2 as EKU got three runs on just two hits. After striking out Austin Grisham to start the inning, Steve Ferraro tripled on a fly ball down the line – just out of Dylan Pratt’s (Johnson City, Tenn.) reach. After walking Richie Rodriguez on four pitches, Shaun Ball belted a three-run homer to right field – putting the Colonels in front 5-3.
ETSU answered once again in the bottom half of the inning as the first three batters reached base to chase starting pitcher Matt Harris out of the game. Matt Fyffe came into the game and retired the first two Buccaneers of the inning and prevented any runs from scoring. Then, third baseman Alex Reynolds (Johnson City, Tenn.) hit a clutch two-run single up the middle to knot the score 5-5.
The Bucs regained the lead in the sixth inning when Niesman drilled his first home run of the season.
ETSU remained in front going into the ninth inning as Doane took the mound looking to close out the game. The Colonels greeted Doane with two straight hits to quickly put the tying run in scoring position. After Sean Hagen struck out, Rodriguez drove in the run with an RBI ground out to third – tying the score 6-6.
Both teams went down in order in the 10th inning, but in the 11th Dunlop led off with a deep home run to left field. The home run proved to be the game winner as the Bucs were unable to put a rally together in the bottom half of the frame.
Fyffe was credited with the win after pitching six innings of relief, while allowing just one run and striking out five. Meanwhile, Doane was charged with the loss after giving up two runs in three innings of work.
Game Two Recap
The second game of the day looked as if it was going to be a slugfest from the very beginning as Rodriguez blasted a leadoff home run to put the Colonels in front 1-0. After a single and a walk, Dunlop put EKU up 2-0 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI.
Much like they did in game one, the Bucs responded in the bottom half of the inning as Green led off the inning with a single and then scored on Scruggs’ second home run of the day – tying the score 2-2.
Eastern Kentucky scored two runs in the top of the fourth on just two hits to retake the lead. Back-to-back RBI singles by Michael Garcia and Hagen plated Dunlop and Justin Trent – putting EKU in front 4-2.
The Colonels added to that lead in the top of the fifth when Grisham doubled into the gap in left center, scoring Trent and making the score 5-2.
EKU added three more runs in the top of the sixth thanks to an RBI single by Rodriguez and a two-run single by junior Matt Phipps. The Bucs were not able to answer as they were held scoreless for the final six innings.
Terry (1-0) earned the complete game victory after giving up seven hits, two runs and striking out three. Long (0-1) got the loss for the Bucs, going four innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits.
ETSU returns to action on Wednesday as in-state foe Tennessee Tech comes to town during the midweek.
- With three home runs on the weekend, Matthew Scruggs now is tied for first in career home runs among active Atlantic Sun student-athletes with 29. Scruggs is tied with Adam Brett Walker of Jacksonville.
- Scruggs became the second Buccaneer in as many years to homer in three straight games. Paul Hoilman had a home run in four straight games last May.
- EKU now leads the all-time series 51-33-1
- For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.