JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 6, 2012) – After yesterday’s game one of the series was halted in the bottom of the seventh due to thunderstorms, the ETSU (15-12, 4-6 A-Sun) baseball team won the continuation on Friday, 6-1, over North Florida (18-14, 2-8 A-Sun) in game one of the series at Thomas Stadium.
ETSU starting pitcher John Long (Anderson, S.C.) (5-3) earned the win as he was very impressive holding UNF scoreless in seven innings of work, while allowing just three hits and striking out five. UNF starter Tommy Organ (2-2) was charged with the loss after allowing five hits and four runs (three earned) in 4.2 innings. Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) worked the last two innings of relief for the Bucs when play resumed on Friday.
Freeman and catcher Zach Waters (Woodstock, Ga.) led the offensive charge with two hits apiece for the Bucs. Freeman finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run and an RBI, while scoring three times. Meanwhile, Waters was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) had the other RBI for the Bucs as he was 1-for-4.
ETSU struck first in the third inning as Freeman blasted his fifth home run of the season. With two-outs in the inning, Freeman drilled the 2-0 pitch from Organ deep over the right center field wall to give the Bucs an early 1-0 lead.
The Bucs extended their lead in the fourth thanks to a two-run single by Waters. Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) led off the inning with a walk and Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) followed with a double down the left field line to put runners on second and third with no outs. Waters followed by drilling the 0-1 pitch right up the middle to bring home Riopedre and Doane – putting the Bucs in front 3-0.
ETSU added another run in the fifth with no hits in the inning. Freeman and Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) led off the frame with back-to-back walks before Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) grounded into a double play, which advanced Freeman to third. Riopedre drew a four pitch walk and ball four got past catcher Paul Karmeris – allowing Freeman to scamper home from third to give the Bucs a 4-0 lead.
The Bucs took a 5-0 lead in the seventh on three straight hits to start the inning. Freeman led off the frame with a single and Pratt doubled to right field – putting runners in scoring position with no outs. Niesman drove the first pitch he saw into right field for an RBI single to put the Bucs in front by five. After Niesman was picked off at first, Riopedre walked for the second time in the game. Then, Riopedre advanced to second on a fielder’s choice and then to third on a wild pitch. Just a short time later, play was halted due to a lightning strike in the area right before 5:00 p.m. When play resumed on Friday, Doane got himself caught in a pickle between first and second just long enough for Riopedre to score from third base to give the Bucs a 6-0 lead.
UNF got on the scoreboard in the ninth inning thanks to two hits. T.J. Gavlik led off the inning with a single and later advanced to third on a one-out double by Andrew Karmeris. Then, the Ospreys plated a run after an RBI ground out by Corey Bass. Gavlik led the Ospreys at the plate as he finished 2-for-3 on the day.
Game two of the series will be the first game under the lights at Thomas Stadium on Friday at 6:15 p.m.
For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.