CHICAGO (May 4, 2013) – For the second straight Saturday, the ETSU baseball team swept a doubleheader to win another series.
The Bucs - who swept a home doubleheader versus Kennesaw State last weekend - continued to show their toughness by winning a pair over Illinois-Chicago in the Windy City.
In game one, senior right-hander Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) won his seventh straight start and tossed his NCAA-best ninth complete game of the year as ETSU rallied past Illinois-Chicago, 7-3. Then, in the nightcap, junior righty Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) tossed 4.1 innings of no-hit ball, while senior Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) blasted the game-winning home run with a solo shot in the 11th to propel the Bucs to a 6-5 victory over the Flames on Saturday afternoon at Les Miller Field.
Doane – who improved to 10-1 following the win – moved into second-place in ETSU single-season history by recording his ninth complete game, while becoming the first Buccaneer pitcher since Caleb Glafenhein to win 10 games in a year. Glafenhein won 12 in 2007. At the plate, Green went 5-for-10 with a double, home run, and three runs scored to extend his hitting streak to 11 straight games, and Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) converted on his eighth straight save opportunity by closing out the final inning of game two.
As a team, the Bucs hit .333 (27-81) with four doubles and one home run on Saturday, with junior Dylan Tritsch (Boca Raton, Fla.) hitting .500 (5-10) with one double and three runs scored, along with making game-saving catches in left field.
After taking its second straight weekend series, ETSU improved to 27-19, while UIC dipped to 20-24.
GAME ONE RECAP
UIC jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but Kerry Doane recovered and the Buccaneer offense came alive as ETSU scored seven unanswered runs to defeat the Flames, 7-3, in the first game of the doubleheader.
The top four ETSU hitters finished with two hits each as Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) led the charge with a single, double, and three RBI, while Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) registered two base knocks, scored a run and drove in Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) with an RBI single in the eighth. Senior Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) and junior Dylan Tritsch (Boca Raton, Fla.) both went 2-for-5, while Tritsch also scored two runs. Meanwhile, Riopedre and senior Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) also provided two-hit efforts as the Blue and Gold out-hit the Flames, 12-9.
Doane – who gave up three runs on six hits in the first two innings – battled back by holding UIC scoreless on three hits in the final seven innings of work. Overall, Doane struck out seven and walked two, while tossing 126 pitches (78 strikes). Tomas Michelson, the Flames starting pitcher, suffered the loss (5-4) after allowing seven runs on 11 hits in 7.1 innings of work.
The Flames took advantage of a leadoff single by John Coen in the bottom the first as he moved over to second on a sac-bunt by Zenon Kolakowski and later scored the first run of the game on Ryan Boss’ two-out RBI single to left, giving UIC the early 1-0 lead.
UIC extended its lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second when Alex Jurich’s triple to right-center scored Alex De Larosa from first and Jurich came home on Ryan Shober’s sac-fly to right.
From there, the Buccaneer bats woke up and Doane cooled off the Flames as ETSU began its comeback with a three-run third inning. Riopedre led off the inning with a single to center and later scored when Tritsch swung at a two-strike pitch in the dirt, but reached first on the wild pitch. From there, Green pushed a single past the diving glove of Shober at second to move Tritsch to third, and both runners scored after Freeman doubled down the line in right to tie the game at three.
In the top of the fifth, the Blue and Gold jumped ahead, 4-3, when Andrew Lasure’s (Stanford, Ky.) sac-fly to left with the bases loaded scored Taylor.
ETSU wouldn’t relinquish that lead as Doane settled in nicely after a bumpy start by retiring 21 of the final 26 UIC hitters he faced to pick up his seventh straight win.
Doane worked out of a minor jam in the sixth as the Flames had the tying run at second after De Larosa doubled to left-center, but the senior right-hander worked out of trouble by forcing Joe Betcher to line out to center and Jurich into an inning-ending grounder to third.
The Blue and Gold picked up some insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings to move their lead to, 7-3. In the seventh, Freeman’s RBI single to center scored Tritsch, who laced a one-out single up the middle and moved to third on Green’s infield single to second; however, Tomas Michelson worked out of a dicey situation by inducing Lasure into a 4-6-3 double play to end the frame. Then, an inning later, Riopedre doubled home Niesman with one out, while Taylor battled off nine pitches before singling in the Buccaneer shortstop to give ETSU a four-run cushion.
UIC never threatened past the sixth inning and the Blue and Gold held on for the four-run victory.
John Coen and De Larosa led the Flames offensively with two hits apiece. Boss, Jurich, and Shober accounted for the three UIC RBIs.
GAME TWO RECAP
Will Chesney kept the UIC offense in check out of the bullpen and Andrew Green connected on his fifth home run of the season with a go-ahead solo shot in the 11th, and ETSU capped off the sweep with a 6-5 11-inning win on Saturday.
Despite trailing in the seventh, the Bucs continued to fight as the Bucs scored the tying run in the frame, which led to the late-inning heroics by Chesney and Green. Chesney took over with runners on second and third and two outs in the sixth, and worked effectively in relief by tossing the 4.1 scoreless innings. The junior right-hander also struck out a career-high six hitters in his longest outing as a Buccaneer. Chesney improved to 3-2 with the win and Freeman collected his eighth save of the campaign.
Dylan Tritsch, Alex Reynolds (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Green led ETSU at the plate as all three players generated three-hit efforts, while Matt Sorrow (Griffin, Ga.) and Derek Niesman finished with two hits each. Reynolds’ three-hit game tied a career-high, which he previously set back in March against Winthrop.
Just like they did in game one, the Bucs pushed across their first runs in the third and took a 3-0 lead over UIC. The first three ETSU hitters reached to start the inning as Tritsch singled and moved to third on Green’s double. Following a walk to Freeman, Ian Lewandowski struck out Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) swinging, but despite not recording a hit, the Blue and Gold scored three runs to gain momentum. Niesman drove in the first Buccaneer as he reached on a fielder’s choice groundout, while Green scored when Lewandowski was called for a balk. The inning got worse for the Flame hurler as he threw a pitch in the dirt later in the at-bat to Reynolds and Niesman scored all the way from second on the wild pitch.
The Flames chipped away at their deficit in the bottom of the inning by plating a pair of runs to make it a 3-2 ballgame. John Coen led off with an infield single and went to second when Tyler Detmer reached on a fielding error by Reynolds at third. The miscue haunted the Blue and Gold as Coen scored on an RBI single by Ryan Boss and Detmer came around to touch the plate after Alex De Larosa singled past a diving Niesman at second to make it a one-run affair.
ETSU took advantage of a UIC throwing error in the fifth to move its lead to, 4-2. With two outs, Niesman poked a single through the left side and advanced to second when shortstop John Coen’s throw was wide of the bag at first. After Niesman gained the extra base, Reynolds came through with a clutch RBI single to left, making it a two-run lead in favor of the Blue and Gold.
However, the Bucs couldn’t sustain the lead, as UIC hung up a three spot in the bottom of the sixth to jump ahead, 5-4. The Flames received a sac-fly RBI from Ryan Shober, while an RBI single by Coen followed by Detmer’s run-scoring double gave UIC its first lead of the game.
Fortunately, ETSU continued to fight as the Blue and Gold took full use of another throwing error by Coen at short to knot things up at five in the top of the seventh. Phillips started the threat with a one-out single to center and was able to advance into scoring position on a wild pitch from reliever Jack Andersen. After the blunder by the UIC pitcher, the Flames suffered another mistake as Reynolds hit a chopper to short, and despite beating the throw, Coen’s toss got away from first baseman Alex Grunenwald – allowing Phillips to score from second and even it at five.
With neither team able to scratch across a run over the next three-and-a-half innings, Green came through with the clutch at-bat when his one-out home run to right snapped the tie game and gave the Bucs the lead for good, 6-5.
UIC didn’t go down without a fight as the Flames had the winning run at second with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, but Freeman struck out Boss swinging to end the rally and improve ETSU to 4-0 in extra-inning games this season.
Joey Begel suffered the loss (2-6) after issuing the one run on two hits in 3.0 innings of relief, while five UIC hitters finished with two hits each. Coen went 2-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI and Detmer registered two doubles, a run scored and an RBI.
The series finale is set for Sunday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. (Eastern), from Les Miller Field.
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