JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 13, 2014) – Freshman Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) gave the Bucs seven strong innings and the offense rewarded the southpaw with a nine-run fifth, as the ETSU baseball team completed the sweep of North Florida with a 10-4 win on Sunday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
McCann held the Ospreys to one run on seven hits, while striking out one and walking none in a career-high seven innings of work to earn the win (3-3). Offensively, the Bucs had four players register two-hit games, while five of ETSU’s 11 hits went for extra bases – three doubles and two triples.
The Blue and Gold were led by their 7-8-9 hitters as Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.), Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Gage Downey (Franklin, Tenn.) combined to go 6 for 9 with one double, one triple, one walk, four runs and four RBI. York, who had a bases clearing double in the bottom of the fifth, went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI, Downey was a perfect 2 for 2 with a triple, run scored and an RBI, and Thompson filled in nicely for the injured Dylan Tritsch (Boca Raton, Fla.) as he finished 2 for 3 with a walk, and scored two runs. Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) was the fourth Buccaneer to end with a multi-hit game as the senior slugger went 2 for 5 with a double, triple, run scored and an RBI.
Overall, seven different players recorded hits for ETSU, who as a team, hit .336 (46-137) with 10 doubles, eight triples, three home runs during the perfect 4-0 homestand. In addition, the Bucs outscored the opposition, 36-18, while the Buccaneer pitching staff totaled a 3.50 ERA (14 ER/36.0 IP) with 20 strikeouts and four walks in the four games.
Following the sweep of the Ospreys, ETSU improved to 18-17, 7-5 in A-Sun play, while UNF dipped to 15-21, 6-9. The Bucs won just their third series over UNF since joining the conference in 2006, while it was the second time in four seasons the Blue and Gold swept the Ospreys.
Both starting pitchers were dealing in the early to mid stages of the game as the score was knotted at one heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.
However, the game quickly changed as ETSU scored nine runs on five hits and took advantage of two UNF errors in the fifth to open a nine-run lead, 10-1. Thompson, who hit twice in the inning, led things off with a single to right and moved to third on Jeremy Taylor’s (Fayetteville, Ga.) single. From there, Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) drove in the first run on an RBI single to short, while Taylor scored on Freeman’s double to right. With one out and runners on second and third, Chris Riopedre (Miami, Fla.) reached on a fielder’s choice RBI as shortstop Kyle Brooks tried to get Cook out at home, while Freeman scored when Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) reached on a throwing error by Brooks. Following a four-pitch walk to Tyler Roach (Knoxville, Tenn.), the Ospreys went to the bullpen and Ryan McMahon was faced with a one-out bases loaded situation. York greeted the senior right-hander with a bases clearing double to left-center, making it an 8-1 score. The Bucs tacked on two more runs in the inning as Thompson walked and ETSU called a double steal. York stole third and scored when the throw by UNF catcher Peyton Walsh went into left field, while Thompson, who moved to third on the play, came home on a sac-fly RBI from Downey. The nine-run frame was the most runs scored in an inning by the Blue and Gold this season, and it was also one run shy of tying a program-record for runs in a frame.
The nine-run cushion was more than enough offense for the Buccaneer pitchers to work with as McCann held UNF scoreless in the sixth and seventh, before the Ospreys answered for two runs in the eighth and added a run in the ninth.
UNF left the bases loaded in the eighth as senior Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) entered with the bags full and only one out, but the right-hander forced pinch hitter Patrick Ervin to fly out and struck out Walsh swinging to stop any comeback threat. Chesney then worked out of a minor jam in the ninth when the Ospreys had two on with one out, but the Knoxville, Tenn. native got Trent Higginbothem to hit into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
UNF starter Corbin Olmstead took the loss (3-5) as he surrendered eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
Drew Weeks, who gave the Ospreys a 1-0 lead with an RBI double in the third, went 3 for 5 with a double and triple. Alex Bacon, Alex Merritt and Walsh all finished with two hits.
The Bucs hit the road for a three-game conference set starting Thursday night at Jacksonville. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m. at John Sessions Stadium.
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