Johnson City, Tenn. -- Three East Tennessee State pitchers combined on a two-hitter to lead the Bucs in a 4-2 Southern Conference baseball win against Wofford at ETSUs Cardinal Park.
Buccaneer starter Matt Hensley (1-3) carried a no-hitter through five innings before surrendering a double to Chris Cotugno in the top of the sixth. The freshman earned his first collegiate win after allowing two runs on just one hit in 5.0 innings. Junior Jackson Simerly relieved Hensley and allowed one hit in 3.0 innings. Freshman Donnie Sharp pitched the ninth to earn his first collegiate players
East Tennessee State (9-18, 3-9 Southern Conference) was led on offense by junior Brandon Cross. The second baseman went 3-4 with one run scored. Senior Nathan Copeland went 2-3 with a home run. Wofford (10-13, 5-3 SoCon) received strong performances from starter Joey Cress (5.0 innings, seven hits, four runs) and reliever Keith Sturkie (3.0 innings, two hits).
ETSU centerfielder Kirk Keithley drew a walk with the bases loaded in the second to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead before Cress ended the threat with two strikeouts. The Bucs added thre more in the third to gain a four-run advantage. Copeland led off the frame with his sixth homer of the season. Cross followed with a double and scored on a Jason Brotherton two-bagger. Brotherton then came home on a Jeremy Terry single.
Wofford loaded the bases in the fourth on a walk, error and hit batsman. After a strikeout, Steve Casey scored on a fielders choice off the bat of Tony Carbone. The Terriers added another run in the fifth when Steve Casey scored his second run, this on a double play groundout. Simerly ended the threat by enducing the double play and another groundout.
Sharp came on in the ninth and plunked Woffords Lawson Burnat on a 1-1 pitch. After a sacrifice bunt, Wofford had the tying run at the plate. Left fielder Tommy Todd hit a lazer to the right field wall, but rightfielder Nathan Copeland climbed the eight-foot hill and caught the line drive at the base of the wall to clinch the win.
The Bucs return to action next weekend in Nashville, Tenn. ETSU opens with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 31 -- vs. Austin Peay at Noon and at Belmont at 3 p.m. The weekend will conclude with a 1 p.m. game againt Belmont on Sunday, April 1.