GREENVILLE, S.C. (Apr. 24, 2012) – With the score tied 2-2 through five innings, ETSU plated seven runs in the top of the sixth to start a scoring barrage and the Bucs pounded out a season-high 19 hits to roll past Furman 14-2 Tuesday evening at Latham Stadium.
The Bucs earned their third straight victory to improve to 19-20 overall, while Furman falls to 18-24 on the season. The two teams split the two-game season series, while ETSU takes a 37-36 advantage in the all-time series.
ETSU freshman Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) (3-3) earned the victory out of the bullpen after tossing four innings of scoreless relief. Furman relief pitcher Alex Abrams (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing four hits and seven runs in less than an inning of work.
Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.), Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) and Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) had three hits apiece and combined for eight RBI on the night. Pratt belted his 15th home run of the season and finished 3-for-5 with his second consecutive four RBI game. Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) finished 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI and has now reached base in 33 consecutive games. Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) had a multiple hit night as he finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Meanwhile, Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) blasted his nation leading 17th home run of the season. Mason Hershey (Altoona, Pa.) also had a hit and an RBI for the Bucs.
The Bucs pushed across the first run of the game in the top of the second inning. Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) led off the frame with a single to right field and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Thompson advanced Riopedre to third on a sacrifice bunt, Doane drilled the first pitch he saw from Carlson into left field for an RBI single to put the Bucs in front, 1-0.
Furman responded with two runs of its own in the bottom of the second thanks to four hits. Will Miller opened the inning with a single up the middle. Miller moved over to second on a base-hit by Harrison Farmer. Taylor Johnson then delivered an RBI double down the left field line to tie the game. Chris Ohmstede followed with an infield single to put runners on the corners with two-outs. Furman took the lead after a balk by Freeman allowed Johnson to score from third.
ETSU tied the score in the top of the fifth thanks to a sacrifice fly by Freeman. Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.) got the inning started with a double to the right center field gap. After Green moved Betterson to third on a sacrifice bunt, Freeman, who started the game on the mound, helped himself with a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the score 2-2.
The Bucs broke the game wide open in the sixth inning with seven runs on four hits and two Furman errors in the frame. ETSU plated its first run after Scruggs stole third and an errant throw by the Paladin catcher allowed Scruggs to score. Then, the Bucs got an RBI single by Hershey to go up 4-2. Two batters later, Green laced a two-run single to left field to put the Bucs in front 6-2. Then, with one-out in the inning, Pratt belted the 0-1 pitch from Abrams deep over the left field wall for a three-run homer to extend the Buccaneer lead and cap the seven-run inning.
ETSU extended its lead in the seventh after an RBI single by Doane plated Thompson. Thompson led off the inning with a double to left center and Doane roped the 0-1 pitch right up the middle to give the Bucs a 10-2 lead.
The Bucs kept the scoring barrage going in the eighth with three more runs. Freeman blasted his sixth home run of the year and after Pratt singled to left field, Scruggs recorded his 17th long ball to put ETSU up 13-2.
Pratt continued his hot hitting with a RBI single in the ninth inning – his third hit of the contest and eighth RBI in two games. Green scored on the play after reaching base earlier in the inning with a base-hit.
ETSU returns home tomorrow with a 5:05 p.m. first pitch against Western Carolina at Thomas Stadium.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.