JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 12, 2013) – Freshmen hurlers Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) and Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) gave the ETSU baseball team strong efforts on the mound, but the offense was unable to come through with the big hit as Winthrop defeated the Bucs, 2-1, on Tuesday night from Thomas Stadium.
Jacques allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits, while striking out three and walking none in six innings of action, but the Rollinsford, N.H. native suffered the loss (0-2) in his first collegiate start despite the dominating effort. Meanwhile, Krieg came out of the bullpen and tossed three innings of one-hit ball, but the Buccaneer offense left 10 runners stranded and went 1-for-9 with guys in scoring position.
ETSU (9-4) pounded out 12 hits, marking the fourth straight game the Blue and Gold registered 10 or more hits, with senior third baseman Alex Reynolds (Johnson City, Tenn.) leading the way with three hits and drove in the lone run. Meanwhile, Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) has now reached base safely in 16 straight games after going 2-for-4, while Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) finished with his third multi-hit game of the year and stole two bases.
Winthrop (5-11) – who has now won all six games in the series – saw freshman right-hander Joey Strain earn his first collegiate win (1-2) after surrendering one run on eight hits in five innings of work, while Eric Ruth picked up his second save of the year by tossing 1.2 innings of perfect ball.
The Eagles struck first when Clay Altman scored on Stephen Wallace’s sacrifice fly to right in the top of the second, but Jacques kept it a 1-0 game by inducing the next two Winthrop hitters into ground outs to third.
Despite having runners in scoring position during the first two innings, the Bucs couldn’t generate the timely hit as Dylan Tritsch (Boca Raton, Fla.) was left stranded at second in the first, while Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) extended his hitting streak to nine straight games with a single to right in the second; unfortunately, the sophomore shortstop was stuck at second after Strain worked out of the jam.
The Eagles made the Bucs pay for not coming through with the clutch hit as Winthrop capitalized on an error by Reynolds in the top of the fourth to extend its lead to, 2-0. Cody Dolan reached on the leadoff error by Reynolds and later scored on Wallace’s fielder’s choice RBI to short; however, Tritsch robbed Nick Bateman of extra bases and an RBI when he tracked down the ball in left-center to end the inning.
ETSU cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the fourth when Reynolds’ RBI bloop single to center scored Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.), but with one out and runners on the corners, Mason Hershey (Altoona, Pa.) grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play to stop the scoring threat.
An inning later, the Blue and Gold missed another chance to even things up when Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) reached on an infield single and moved over to second on Freeman’s two-out single to right. But Thompson and Freeman were the fifth and sixth Buccaneers left on base as Strain struck out Niesman swinging to end the inning.
Again, ETSU had the tying run at second in the sixth and at third in the eighth, but the Bucs couldn’t come through with the offensive output needed to give Jacques the win and Krieg the save.
Ruth entered with one out in the eighth and struck out four of the five Buccaneer hitters he faced to end the ballgame.
Despite going 0-for-2 on the night, Wallace drove in both runs for the Eagles, while Altman had two of Winthrop’s five hits.
The Blue and Gold hit the road for a five-game road swing beginning Wednesday afternoon when ETSU travels to take on UNC Asheville. Game time is set for 3 p.m., at Greenwood Baseball Field.
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