Bucs look for the series sweep tomorrow at 1:05 p.m.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 25, 2012) – Junior Derek Bushey (Richmond, Va.) pitched five solid innings and the bullpen came on to toss four scoreless innings of work propelling the ETSU baseball team past Saint Joseph’s, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
Bushey (1-0), who started on the mound for the first time this season, gave up five hits and two runs, while walking one and striking out two.
Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) were each 2-for-4 to lead the Bucs at the plate. Doane and Scruggs each scored a run, while Doane added an RBI. Junior Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) clubbed his second home run of the season as he finished the day 1-for-3. Meanwhile, Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) finished 1-for-2 with an RBI.
On a cold and blustery day, where the temperature never got above the low 40s, the ETSU bats were strong from the very beginning. The Bucs put up two runs on two hits in the first inning to take the early lead. Scruggs got the rally started by ripping a one-out double into left center and later scored on a triple down the right field line by Doane – putting the Bucs in front 1-0. With still just one out in the inning, Freeman drove home Doane from third on a sacrifice fly in foul territory down the left field line to give ETSU a 2-0 lead.
The Bucs added another run in the second inning as Niesman deposited a 1-2 pitch deep into the parking lot in left field to extend the lead to 3-0.
Saint Joseph’s finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning after getting a one-out bases loaded sacrifice fly from Tim Craig to make the score 3-1.
The Hawks added a run in the very next inning as catcher Eddie Palmer led off the inning with a double down the right field line. Saint Joseph’s then had runners on the corners with no outs after Anthony Cirillo followed Palmer with a single to left field. Palmer scored on a Kevin Kratochwill fielder’s choice to get the Hawks within one at 3-2.
From there, the ETSU bullpen closed the door as freshman Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) and Doane each pitched two innings of scoreless relief to close out the victory. Nesselt gave up no hits, while striking out one in his two innings of work. Meanwhile, Doane earned his first save of the season after striking out two in his two innings of relief.
SJU threatened in the eighth inning after Chris Huerth and Quinn Renner got on after recorded base hits. Then, with two outs, Kevin Taylor hit a slicing fly ball down the left field line that looked to be trouble, but freshman Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) sprawled out to make a clutch diving grab to end the inning. Thompson was also 1-for-3 on the day and has hit safely in his first two collegiate games.
The Bucs will look for the series sweep as they host Saint Joseph’s in game three of the series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) will be on the mound for the Bucs and will oppose Jordan Carter (0-0).
- With the two victories over the Saint Joseph’s so far this weekend, ETSU now leads the all-time series 10-5.
- The Bucs have now hit at least one home run in five consecutive games. Last season’s squad had a streak of 18 straight games with a homer from April 21 – May 19.
- Matthew Scruggs and Clinton Freeman have now hit safely in all five games to start the season.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.