Johnson City, Tenn. -- UNC Greensboros Doug Schutt went 3-5 with three runs scored and led the Spartans to an 8-5 win against East Tennessee State in Southern Conference baseball action at Cardinal Park.
UNCGs Shane Schumaker was an offensive force, going 2-2 with three RBIs and two runs scored. The visitors received a strong pitching performance from starter Everett Hancock who hurled 7.0 innings, allowing just one run, to improve to 6-3 on the season.
Buccaneer second baseman Brandon Cross went 3-5 while leftfielder Bryan Crouse went 2-2 after entering the game as a pinchhitter. ETSU starter Reid Casey fell to 3-7 on the year after allowing seven runs in 6.0 innings. Senior Nathan Copeland did extend his hitting streak to 22 games with a single in the eighth.
Schutt led off the game with a single and later scored on an RBI single by Schumaker. ETSU managed to tie the game with a run in the bottom of the first, despite not no base hits. Ryan Hyder led off with a walk, moved to second on a sac bunt, to third on a wild pitch and scored on an Andy Baxter groundout.
UNCG (26-25, 16-11 SoCon) regained the lead with three runs in the third. Schutt led off the frame with a triple to deep centerfield. Chad Hayes then bounced a ball to first baseman Baxter who attempted to nail Schutt at the plate. The throw sailed over the catchers head and Hayes reached on the fielders choice. Schumaker followed with a two-run homer, his third RBI of the game.
After two outs in the third, the Bucs (21-29, 12-16 SoCon) loaded the bases for cleanup hitter Copeland. On the first pitch, Copeland flew out to the centerfielder. In the middle innings, ETSUs Casey retired seven in a row before walking two batters in the fifth. Casey forced a groundout to end the threat.
Ramon Balderas knocked in Chris Mittendorf with a sharp single in the sixth to give the visitors a 5-1 lead. The Spartans increased their lead to 7-1 with two runs in the seventh. Hayes and Schumaker led off the frame with walks and scored on RBIs from Nick Lockhart and Mittendorf.
The Bucs fought back into the game with a four-run eighth. The Bucs strung together six hits after two outs, including a two-run double by Jeremy Terry. Jason Nidiffer also notched a run scoring single in the frame.
The Bucs and Spartans will play the middle contest of this Southern Conference three-game set, tomorrow at 7 p.m.