JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (May 4, 2012) – Jonathan Murphy led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run and starting pitcher Chris Anderson allowed just four hits in a complete game effort to lead Jacksonville (15-32, 5-14 A-Sun) to a series opening victory over ETSU, 5-2, Friday night at Sessions Stadium.
Anderson (5-3) was strong from the outset as he sat down the first nine ETSU (20-25, 6-13 A-Sun) batters and allowed just four hits and two runs with seven punch outs. ETSU starter Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) (2-7) once again gave the Bucs a chance to win after scattering six hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings of work, but was dealt the tough luck loss.
ETSU sophomore Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) had the only two-hit game of the night for either squad as he finished 2-for-4 with a run scored to extend his reached base streak to 39 straight games. Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) and Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) each had a hit and an RBI on the night. Green belted his first home run of the season.
The Dolphins were led at the plate by Jake Huxtable as he finished 1-for-3 with three RBI. Jonathan Murphy had the only other JU RBI of the night as he hit a solo home run in the first inning.
Jacksonville got on the board in the first inning as Murphy belted the first pitch of the day from Long deep over the left field wall for his third home run of the season – giving the Dolphins the early 1-0 lead.
The Dolphins added on to their lead with a run in the third inning on two hits and an ETSU error. With one-out in the frame, Adam Brett Walker singled through the left side. Dan Gulbransen followed with a single to center, which was misplayed by the Bucs allowing both runners to move into scoring position. Then, Jake Huxtable recorded a sacrifice fly to center – giving the Dolphins a 2-0 lead.
ETSU got to within a run with as Green led off the fourth inning with his first home run of the season.
The Bucs brought on freshman Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh and after striking out Murphy to start the inning, Nesselt issued a walk to Zach Houck. Then, Walker reached on a catcher’s interference, which allowed Houck to advance to second. Two batters later, Huxtable looped the 0-1 pitch into center field for a two-run single – extending JU’s lead to 4-1.
After the Dolphins added another run in the eighth to make it 5-1, ETSU tried to get a rally going after Freeman led off with a base-hit. Freeman, who reached third after a wild pitch and a ground out, later scored on a sacrifice fly by Scruggs to move a run closer. However, that was the only other run the Bucs could get across.
Game two of the series between ETSU and Jacksonville will begin at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. ETSU will send senior righty John Long (Anderson, S.C.) to the mound to oppose Jacksonville right-hander Drew Woods.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.