JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (March 29, 2013) – Each time senior right-hander Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) takes to the mound his goal is to pitch all nine innings.
The Buccaneer hurler has done a tremendous job living up to those expectations as Doane tossed his fifth complete game of the season, which helped lift the ETSU baseball team to a 7-5 victory over North Florida on Friday night at Harmon Stadium.
Doane – who tossed his fifth complete game in his last six starts – allowed five runs (four earned) on 11 hits, while striking out four and not allowing a walk to improve to 5-1 on the year. Meanwhile, the senior leader got two strong defensive catches by centerfielder Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) in the eighth, while getting a key 4-6-3 double play to get out of a firsti nning jam.
The Buccaneer pitcher was rewarded with five runs before taking to the hill in the bottom of the first, marking the first time ETSU scored a first-inning run since Feb. 22. Green and Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) helped generate the offensive attack in the first as the Buccaneer duo recorded one of their three hits on the night in the inning. Green – who has five hits in the series – went 3-for-5 with an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base, while Freeman generated three hits (one double) and scored a run.
Overall, the Blue and Gold pounded out 12 hits against two Osprey pitchers, resulting in the 10th time over the last 14 games ETSU has finished with double-digit hits. Eight different Buccaneer hitters posted a hit, and senior Alex Reynolds (Johnson City, Tenn.) has now reached base safely in all eight conference games this year. Reynolds went 1-for-4 with an RBI and run scored.
With the win, the Bucs snapped a two-game losing skid and improved to 14-9, 4-4 in A-Sun play, while the Ospreys dropped to 19-10, 3-2.
After struggling to score runs early on in games this season, the Blue and Gold exploded for the five first-inning runs on five hits to jump ahead, 5-0. Entering the night, ETSU hadn’t scored a first-inning run in 17 straight games, but Green snapped that streak when his RBI single to center brought in Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) – who led off the game with his eighth bunt single of the year. Taylor advanced to third on Freeman’s rocket double off the wall in right, while Freeman touched the dish on Reynolds’ infield single. The scoring spree continued on Chris Riopedre’s (Miami, Fla.) two-run scoring single to right and Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) drove in the fifth and final run of the frame on a fielder’s choice grounder to third.
The Ospreys countered with two runs in the bottom half of the first, but Thompson drove in his second and third runs of the contest when his two-out single in the top of the third brought in Green and Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.) to push ETSU’s lead back to five runs, 7-2.
Like the Bucs did in the top of the third, North Florida took advantage of a fielding error in the bottom of the inning to push across an unearned run when Ryan Roberson’s two-out RBI double down the line in left plated Tyler Marincov from second.
From there, both pitchers settled in nicely after giving up third-inning runs as neither team scored until the Ospreys scratched across two runs in the seventh to make it a 7-5 game.
North Florida had two runners on with two outs in the fourth, but Doane got out of the inning by inducing Paul Karmeris into an inning-ending grounder to third. The groundout marked a stretch where Doane retired seven of the eight UNF hitters he faced until the Ospreys cut into ETSU’s lead in the seventh.
The Ospreys scored its first run in the seventh on Donnie Dewees’ sac-fly to center, while Roberson’s two-out single to right made it a two-run game; however, Doane got out of the inning by forcing Corbin Olmstead into a roller to second.
Fortunately, Doane wasn’t fazed by the two-run seventh as he retired the last six hitters he faced to earn his fifth win of the season.
Nick Allbritton was dealt the loss (1-6) after he was tagged for all seven runs (five earned) on 11 hits in 6.1 innings of work. Five UNF batters accounted for its 11 hits as leadoff hitter Joe Wielbruda went 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
The rubber match of the series gets underway at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon. North Florida will send left-handed pitcher Michael Renner to the mound, while ETSU has yet to name a starter.
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