JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Apr. 12, 2012) — Just two days after knocking off in-state foe Tennessee for the fifth straight time, the ETSU (16-15, 4-8 A-Sun) baseball team continues its four-game homestand when it welcomes USC Upstate (22-12, 7-5 A-Sun) to Thomas Stadium for an Atlantic Sun Conference series.
Friday’s first pitch will begin at 7:05 p.m., Saturday’s game is set for 2:05 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale will begin at 1:05 p.m. Each game will be broadcasted live online at ETSUBucs.com with live stats also available.
The Bucs will send John Long (Anderson, S.C.) (5-3, 3.51 ERA) to the mound on Friday to face USC Upstate lefty David Roseboom (5-1, 2.40 ERA). Long is coming off an impressive performance in the series opener against North Florida last weekend in which he earned the win after tossing seven shutout innings.
Saturday’s game will feature ETSU freshman righty Kuehl McEachern (Mt. Dora, Fla.) (0-0, 1.74 ERA), who will be making his first official start of the season, against Spartan southpaw Scott DeCecco (4-1, 3.11 ERA). McEachern earned the start against Appalachian State on April 3, where he tossed two scoreless innings before the game was washed out due to bad weather. McEachern has not given up a run since March 13.
In the series finale on Sunday, ETSU will throw sophomore righty Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) (2-3, 2.26 ERA) against USC Upstate junior righty Brandon Lee (4-3, 2.81 ERA). Long earned the save out of the bullpen for the Bucs in the 4-3 victory over Tennessee on Wednesday night.
Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) earned his first start on the mound this season and the junior gave up just two runs in a career-high 6.2 innings of work to lift the Bucs past Tennessee on Wednesday night at Thomas Stadium. Doane (3-1), who earned his first start since April 13, 2011 against Furman, got the win as he gave up seven hits, while striking out a career-high seven batters in an impressive outing.
Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) led the Bucs offensively as he finished 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBI. Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) and Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) were each 1-for-3 with an RBI for the Bucs. Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the leadoff spot.
The Spartans have been one of the most surprising teams in the league in 2012. They were picked last in the preseason polls, but the Spartans sat atop the A-Sun until getting swept by Belmont last weekend.
Tyler Miller leads a Spartan club that hits .283 as a team coming into the weekend. Miller boasts a .321 average with a two home runs and 13 RBI, while slugging a team-best .453. Tyler Cook (.317), Gaither Bumgardner (.309), Luke Weber (.308) and Greg Guers (.306) are each batting over .300 for the Spartans.
Much like ETSU, USC Upstate’s strength has been on the mound this season. The Spartans own a 3.54 team ERA, which ranks fourth in the league. USC Upstate has only allowed a conference-low 12 home runs this season.
ETSU and USC Upstate have met 17 times throughout the years with the Bucs owning an 11-6 advantage in the series. ETSU has won nine straight in the series – dating back to 2008.
For more information on ETSU baseball please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.