JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 11, 2007) - Jacksonville score three runs in the first two innings, and the Dolphin bullpen stranded seven ETSU base runners over the final four innings as the Baseball Bucs dropped their fifth consecutive game 4-3 Friday night at Cardinal Park.
Trailing 3-1 in the sixth inning, the Bucs (26-24, 11-11 A-Sun) loaded the bases with no outs, but were only able to push across one run on senior C.J. Lee's (Bristol, Va.) single to left field, bringing home sophomore Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga.), and an infield fly and a double play ended the threat without further damage.
The Dolphins (26-24, 11-11 A-Sun) restored their two-run advantage in the seventh, but ETSU again rallied in the bottom half, plating a run on junior Anthony Russell's (Waldorf, Md.) single into center field, scoring sophomore Jacob Fabry (Chattanooga, Tenn.). A walk followed Russell's single, loading the bases, but freshman Danny Petro's (Atlanta, Ga.) deep drive to left field was corralled by a leaping Pete Clifford to end the inning.
The Bucs again threatened in the eighth, putting runners at second and third with just one out, but Lee was cut down at home for the second out and a pick off bailed the Dolphins out of yet another jam.
In all, the Bucs stranded 10 runners on the night, the second consecutive game ETSU left double-digit base runners.
ETSU starter Brandon Langston (Ringgold, Ga.) turned in a brilliant performance, striking out a career-high nine batters and throwing 132 pitches in eight innings of work. The junior struck out the side in his final inning of work, but fell to 6-6 on the season. Jacksonville starter Justin Young allowed two runs in five-plus innings of work, striking out two and allowing just three hits to improve to 5-4. Matt Gardner came on to record the final out in the ninth for his first save of the season.
Mendez finished the day 1-for-3 with two runs scored, hitting his second home run of the season in the first inning; a solo shot to tie the game at one. Russell and Lee along with senior John Weddle (Knoxville, Tenn.) all turned in two-hit performances with Russell and Lee also notching an RBI apiece.
The teams continue the series Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. first pitch at Cardinal Park. The Bucs will honor their seven seniors in a ceremony prior to the game.