JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 27, 2012) – Starting pitcher Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) went five innings and the ETSU (14-9) bats pounded out seven runs on 12 hits to upend Radford (14-11), 7-2, Tuesday evening at Thomas Stadium.
Nesselt (2-2) earned his second straight victory after allowing five hits and two runs, while striking out a career-high five batters. Meanwhile, Radford starter Jake Palese (3-1) picked up his first loss of the season after giving up six hits and five runs in 2.1 innings of work. ETSU freshman Will Carter (Johnson City, Tenn.) earned his first career save after tossing four innings of scoreless relief.
Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.), Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) led the Bucs at the plate with two hits each. Pratt and Green each had two RBI on the afternoon. Freeman, Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Mason Hershey (Altoona, Pa.) each had an RBI for the Bucs. Hershey got an RBI on his first home run of the season.
Radford got on the scoreboard with two runs on two hits in the second inning thanks to a two-run double by catcher Daniel Wright. With one-out in the inning, Nesselt struck out Matt Mack on a breaking ball in the dirt, but the ball got away from the catcher, allowing Mack to reach first on the wild pitch. Nesselt struck out the next batter Ryan Burgess for the second out of the inning. Cory Turner followed with a single through the right side and Wright drove in the two runners on his double down the left field line.
The Bucs answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a leadoff triple by Doane and a sacrifice fly by Green – cutting the gap to 2-1.
ETSU broke the game open in the third with four runs on four hits to take a 5-2 lead. Niesman led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a base-hit by Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.). Freeman tied the game with an RBI single through the right side – scoring Niesman from second. With runners on first and third with no outs, Pratt laced an RBI double into the right center field gap to put the Bucs in front for the first time in the game. With still no outs in the inning, Doane recorded an RBI ground out to extend the Buccaneer lead to 4-2. The scoring in the inning was capped off by a beautiful RBI bunt single to the right side by Green – giving the Bucs a 5-2 advantage.
That was all the ETSU pitching staff needed as Nesselt and Carter combined to pitch a scoreless final six innings to lead the Bucs to their third straight victory.
The Bucs got an insurance run in both the seventh and eighth innings. In the seventh, Pratt recorded his second RBI of the day with a single through the left side to score Scruggs from second. Scruggs drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on Freeman’s second hit of the game.
With one-out in the eighth inning, Hershey belted the 0-2 offering from relief pitcher Jeff Maxwell over the left center field wall for his first homer in the Blue and Gold – giving the Bucs the 7-2 lead and capping off the scoring in the contest.
Mack and Zach Costello each had two hits to lead the Highlanders at the plate, while Wright was 1-for-4 with the only two Highlander RBIs of the day.
The Bucs get set to hit the road for a three-game Atlantic Sun series against Lipscomb beginning on Friday. Each game of the series can be heard on the Buccaneer Sports Network (640 WXSM – The Extreme Sports Monster) and online at ETSUBucs.com. Live stats of each game will also be available at ETSUBucs.com.
- Jimmy Nesselt finished with a career-high five strikeouts. His previous high was four against Indiana on March 3.
- With his 2-for-5 day at the plate, Clinton Freeman has now reached base in 17 consecutive games – the longest streak recorded by a Buccaneer this year.
- Andrew Green extended his hitting streak to eight games after going 2-for-3 in the game.
- Freeman extended his hitting streak to seven straight, while also racking up his team-leading 12th multiple hit game.
- Dylan Pratt recorded his team-leading seventh multiple RBI game of the season.
- The Bucs are now a perfect 12-0 when holding their opponents to three runs or less.
- ETSU now owns a perfect 11-0 record when leading after five innings.
- With the victory over Radford, ETSU now leads the all-time series 20-14.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.