JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 10, 2013) – Like any pitcher, Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) just wants to give his team a chance to win each time he takes to the hill.
The senior right-hander has lived up to that motto thus far, as Doane tossed his second straight shutout en route to guiding the ETSU baseball team to a 5-0 win over Rhode Island on sunny Sunday afternoon from Thomas Stadium.
Since earning a no-decision on opening day against Penn State, Doane (3-0) has tossed three straight complete games and picked up winning decisions in those three starts. Overall, the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native has pitched 20.0 straight scoreless innings, and in return, he has seen is earned run average dip to 1.09 on the season. On Sunday, Doane – who hadn’t tossed a shutout in his collegiate career until last Friday versus Marist – allowed only four hits and struck out five in the winning effort.
Meanwhile, at the plate, ETSU pounded out 10 hits, marking the sixth time this season the Bucs have totaled 10 or more hits, while the Blue and Gold also stole four bases. Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.), Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) and Mason Hershey (Altoona, Pa.) all provided the Blue and Gold with two-hit games, while Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) has reached base safely in 15 straight games after going 1-for-4 with a run scored. Niesman reached base three times on Sunday (two singles and hit by pitch) and scored two runs, while Taylor drove in a pair of runs.
Overall, the Bucs have now won nine of their first 12 games to start the season, while Rhode Island – who played nine straight road games against ranked foes to start the year – had its two-game win streak snapped and dropped to 2-10 on the campaign.
Both teams left a runner stranded at third early on, but the Bucs quickly responded and took advantage of a Rhode Island error to score their first run of the game in the bottom of the second. With two outs and no one on, Taylor singled to center and moved into scoring position by stealing second. From there, Taylor came around to score when Hershey hit a liner to short, and after Tim Caputo had trouble fielding the ball off the hit, the ETSU freshman outfielder scored on the Rams’ fielding miscue, giving the Blue and Gold a 1-0 advantage.
Rhode Island threatened in the fourth when Pat Quinn led off the inning with a walk, but he was called out at second when Mike LeBel reached on a fielder’s choice. Like Quinn, LeBel didn’t last long on the bases as he was gunned down by Hershey trying to steal second, and after the Rams worked a pair of two-out walks, Doane induced Shane O’Connell into an inning-ending grounder to second.
After the minor fourth inning jam, Doane retired 15 of the final 17 hitters he faced and didn’t allow a Rhode Island base runner to reach second.
The Buccaneer offense gave Doane some extra support in the sixth to extend their lead to 3-0. Freeman and Niesman led off the inning with back-to-back singles, but the Rams thought they were going to work out of the inning unscathed when Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) hit a soft roller back to the mound. The Rhode Island defense looked to have turned a double play, but the umpire said Caputo never touched the bag at second and Niesman was called safe. Then, with one out and runners on second and third, Dylan Powers (Blue Ridge, Va.) drove in Freeman with an RBI grounder to short, while Taylor’s RBI bunt single back to the pitcher plated Niesman.
ETSU tacked on two more in the eighth when Taylor’s one-out RBI grounder to second brought home Niesman, and Riopedre – who singled to right-center earlier in the inning – scored the final run on a wild pitch from Cole Warren, making it a 5-0 final.
Despite not allowing an earned run, senior right-hander Sean Furney suffered the loss (0-2). Furney allowed three unearned runs on eight hits while striking out two in six innings of work.
Quinn generated two of the Rams’ four hits and reached base three times after posting two singles and a walk.
The Bucs and Rams close out the shortened two-game series Monday night at 6:05 p.m., from Thomas Stadium. Freshman righty Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) gets the start for ETSU, while Rhode Island answers with senior right-hander Mike Bradstreet.
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