JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 7, 2014) – ETSU freshman right-hander Austin Hutchison (Jefferson County, Tenn.) went toe-to-toe with one of the best pitchers in the country, but Hartford southpaw Sean Newcomb outdueled the Buccaneer rookie as the Hawks defeated the Blue and Gold, 1-0, on Friday night at Thomas Stadium.
With a plethora a scouts on hand, both hurlers didn’t disappoint as they combined for 18 strikeouts; however Hartford’s two-out hitting in the third inning was the difference maker in a game that lasted only one hour and fifty-seven minutes.
Newcomb, who is considered one of the top-20 prospects by Baseball America and is compared to Boston Red Sox’s lefty Jon Lester, tossed seven scoreless innings and held the Bucs to a pair of hits while striking out eight to earn his first win (1-1) of the year. Meanwhile, Hutchison (1-1) was impressive in his first Friday night start as the righty surrendered the one run on five hits, while striking out 10 and walking none. The 10 strikeouts were the most by an ETSU pitcher since John Long fanned 10 against Campbell on May 13, 2011.
Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) and Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.) registered the two hits off Newcomb, while Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.), Dylan Tritsch (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached on walks.
With the setback, the Bucs – who have now been shut out three times this season – dropped to 6-7, while Hartford won its second straight contest and improved to 2-5.
The Hawks got the only offensive output of the game in the third inning when Hartford’s top of the order strung together three straight two-out singles to take the 1-0 lead. Trey Stover sparked the run and scored on Brady Sheetz’s single to right-center.
From there, Hutchison retired 13 of the final 14 hitters he faced before his night came to an end following the seventh inning. ETSU lefty Jared Burton (Knoxville, Tenn.) relieved Hutchison and tossed two innings of one-hit ball.
Unfortunately, the Bucs couldn’t rally and get Hutchison the win.
Following an infield single by Freeman in the first, the Hartford left-hander retired 12 straight ETSU hitters until Roach recorded a two-out single in the fifth. Roach was left stranded when Newcomb induced Zach Mize (Gainesville, Ga.) into an inning-ending ground back to the mound.
ETSU had scoring chances in the sixth and seventh innings, but Newcomb worked out of the jams. In the sixth, Taylor and Tritsch worked one-out walks, but Freeman and Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) both flew out to stop any threat. An inning later, York led off the seventh with a four-pitch walk, but after Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.) laid down a sac-bunt, Newcomb struck out Roach and forced Mize into an inning-ending grounder to short.
Despite Newcomb’s night coming to an end in the seventh, Alex Gouin retired the six hitters he faced to earn his first save of the season.
Stover led the Hawks with his two-hit night, while he score the lone run of the contest.
Game two of the series is set for 2:05 p.m. on Saturday as junior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) gets the start for the Bucs, while Hartford counters with right-hander Brian Hunter.
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