JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 3, 2012) – Indiana (3-5) rallied to score six runs in the fifth inning to earn a come from behind victory over ETSU (5-3) in game two of the series, 10-5, Saturday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
“Obviously I am a little disappointed,” said ETSU head coach Tony Skole. “I’m really proud of our guys for some good at-bats – Matthew Scruggs and Dylan Pratt hit some big homers and we went up 4-1 and we are actually feeling pretty good. They put a big inning on us and Derek [Bushey] was cruising pretty good, but he lost his ability to locate and got behind on some hitters and they made us pay. I give Indiana credit – they played well and they were very aggressive on fastballs today and their hitters had a very aggressive approach. They had some timely hits and took advantage on some of our mistakes. Tip your hat to them, but I think this was our worst ballgame fundamentally in all three phases – we just weren’t very sharp today.
“I thought we played well yesterday and pulled out a great win, but today we just didn’t play well enough. So hopefully we will come out tomorrow and play a little better and get the series win.”
Indiana starting pitcher Drew Leininger (2-0) earned the victory as he pitched 7.1 innings and allowed six hits and five runs (three earned), while striking out seven. Meanwhile, ETSU’s Derek Bushey (Richmond, Va.) (1-1) was charged with the loss allowing six hits and seven runs (five earned) over four innings.
Kyle Schwarber was 2-for-4 with a grand slam and four RBIs to lead Indiana at the plate. Meanwhile, Chad Clark was 3-for-5 with a home run and Will Nolden was 2-for-3.
Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) led the way for the Bucs at the plate – going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) extended his hitting streak as he was 1-for-4 on the day with a homer and three RBIs.
Indiana got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Nolden hit a two-out triple into the gap in left centerfield and then advanced home on an ETSU throwing error to put the Hoosiers in front 1-0.
With still no outs in the inning, Scruggs belted a three-run homer to left field – his fifth home run of the season – putting the Bucs in front 3-1. Two batters later, Pratt followed with his second homer of the season -- a towering home run down the left field – extending the lead to 4-1.
The top of the fifth inning was the backbreaker for the Bucs as Indiana scored six runs on three hits in the inning. Nolden got things started again as he led off the frame with a walk and later advanced to second on a passed ball. Justin Cureton followed with an RBI double to centerfield to get the Hoosiers within two. After an ETSU fielding error, Trace Knoblauch roped an RBI single to center, scoring Cureton from third. Following a walk to load the bases, Schwarber cleared the bases by blasting a grand slam to put Indiana ahead 7-4.
The Hoosiers added another run in the sixth inning as Clark hit his second home run of the season.
Indiana extended its lead with another run in the eighth inning. Michael Basil drew a one-out walk and Norden singled to put runners on first and second. After a wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, Cuerton drove in a run by reaching on an ETSU error.
ETSU tacked on its final run of the day in the bottom half of the eighth as Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) got a one-out single and later advanced to second on a throwing error by the catcher. Pratt followed with his second RBI of the day – lining a base-hit into center to score Freeman from second.
The rubber game of the series will take place tomorrow as ETSU will send sophomore righty Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) (0-1) to face Indiana’s Kyle Hart (0-0). First pitch at Thomas Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 p.m.
- The third inning homer by Matthew Scruggs extended his hitting streak to eight straight to start the season.
- Matthew Scruggs and Dylan Pratt have now reached base in each of the eight games this season.
- Today’s game marked the first time this season that an opponent has scored a run in the second inning. Previously, ETSU had a 12-0 advantage over its opponents in the second inning.
- The Bucs lead the all-time series against Indiana 3-2.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.