JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 16, 2013) – A day after being placed on the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, senior right-hander Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) continued adding to his record-breaking season.
The Buccaneer hurler tossed his 11th complete game of the year and fellow senior Alex Reynolds (Johnson City, Tenn.) drove in two runs as ETSU hung on to defeat Jacksonville, 3-2, on Thursday night at Thomas Stadium.
Doane improved to 12-1 after allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while striking out five en route to joining fellow Buccaneer Matt Baber (1999-2000) with the most complete games in one season. The Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. native also moved one win shy of tying Caleb Glafenhein (2004-07) for the single-season ETSU wins mark, while Doane is the first Atlantic Sun hurler to reach the 12-win plateau since former Stetson and current Cleveland Indians pitcher Corey Kluber accomplished the feat back in 2007.
Meanwhile, to add to his impressive season, Doane has now won his last nine starts since suffering his lone setback at USC Upstate on March 16, and the right-hander finished the home season 7-0 with a 1.43 ERA (11 ER/69.0 IP) in eight starts (nine appearances).
Following the win, ETSU moved its mark to 30-22, 15-10 in A-Sun play and guaranteed itself at least the fifth seed in next week’s conference tournament. The Blue and Gold are currently tied with Stetson, which is the only team the Blue and Gold can jump in the league standings. The Dolphins – who are still holding onto the eighth and final spot in the A-Sun Championship – dipped to 17-36, 8-17.
After Doane worked the first of four 1-2-3 innings in the first, the Buccaneer offense rewarded the sensational starter with a run in the bottom of the frame to take a 1-0 lead. Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) led off the inning with a single to right, advanced to third on Dylan Tritsch’s (Boca Raton, Fla.) single through the right side, and scored when Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) hit a sacrifice fly to center, giving ETSU an early one-run advantage.
The lead held intact until the fourth, as Jacksonville pulled even at one when Braddock Rowe reached on a two-out throwing error by Reynolds and scored on Ethan Loosen’s double to the gap in left-center.
From there, the Dolphins took their first and only lead of the night when Dylan Dillard’s two-out solo home run in the fifth put Jacksonville ahead, 2-1, marking just the second round-tripper allowed by Doane on the year and the first since Feb. 22 against Seton Hall.
Reynolds redeemed himself in the fifth and sixth innings when his RBI singles put the Blue and Gold back on top, 3-2. In the fifth, the Buccaneer third baseman ripped a single to center to bring home Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.), while his second RBI single up the middle an inning later scored Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.).
Jacksonville threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, but Doane got solid work from his defense to secure a 30-win season for the Bucs.
In the eighth, the Dolphins had runners on first and second with one out, but Doane forced Drew Luther to hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Then, in the ninth, Jacksonville had the tying run at second, but Green robbed Jake Huxtable of an RBI hit when his diving catch in center ended the game.
Sophomore right-hander Jeff Tanner took the loss (0-3) after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 5.2 innings of work. Loosen led the Jacksonville offense with a two-hit night.
For the Bucs, Niesman extended his hit streak to 10 straight following his fifth-inning single, while Green has now reached base safely in 17 straight contests by reaching on an infield single in the eighth.
Game two of the series is set for Friday night at 7:05 p.m. from Thomas Stadium. Sophomore Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) is slated to start for the Bucs, while the Dolphins will counter with Chris Anderson.
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