SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Feb. 22, 2015) – The Bucs got a strong dose of starting pitching and timely hitting as ETSU swept a doubleheader by picking up wins over Pittsburgh and USC Upstate on Sunday at the Upstate Classic.
The Blue and Gold got six innings of one-run ball from junior Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and the Buccaneer offense compiled 14 hits as ETSU cruised to a 10-4 win over Pittsburgh. In the nightcap, junior Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) tossed six scoreless innings and Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) went 2 for 4 with a two-run home run and four RBI as ETSU completed the Sunday sweep with a 9-2 win over USC Upstate.
The Blue and Gold hit .346 (27-78) with four doubles, four triples, one home run and outscored the opposition, 19-6, on Sunday. In addition, ETSU’s pitching staff held Pitt and USC Upstate to a .221 batting average (15-68), while striking out 17 and walking only three.
Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) combined to go 9 for 18 with two doubles, one triple, three RBI and five runs in the two games.
Following the pair of wins, ETSU bounced back into the win column and improved to 4-1, marking the second time in the last three years the Bucs have won four of their first five games to start the season. The last time ETSU opened 4-1 was in 2013 when the Blue and Gold won the Atlantic Sun championship.
ETSU vs. Pittsburgh Recap
Lee Haeberle allowed one run in six innings of work, while the Buccaneer offense pounded out 14 hits as ETSU eased its way to a 10-4 over Pittsburgh on Sunday at the Upstate Classic.
Just like he did last Saturday, Haeberle allowed one first-inning run, but then quickly shut down the Panthers as the junior right-hander held Pittsburgh to one hit in his final five innings. Haeberle improved to 2-0 after allowing the one run on four hits, while striking out five.
At the plate, five Buccaneer batters posted a multi-hit game as Chris Cook led the way with three hits, a run and an RBI. Hagen Owenby registered a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, while Daniel Tucker (Hendersonville, Tenn.) added two hits, two runs and two RBI. Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) and Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) also finished with two hits for the Blue and Gold.
Despite falling behind by a run in the bottom of the first, ETSU hung up 10 unanswered runs before the Panthers pushed across two runs in the eighth and another in the ninth.
The Panthers grabbed their 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, but Haeberle did a nice job limiting the damage as Pitt left runners on second and third to end the inning. Pitt led off the frame with consecutive singles and Jacob Wright later scored on an RBI single by Boo Vazquez; however, with one out and runners and second and third, Haeberle retired the next two Panther hitters to work out of the jam.
ETSU eventually tied the game at one in the third, but the Bucs missed an opportunity to push a few more runs across the plate. With one out, Thompson reached on a bunt single and sprinted home on Tucker’s double to pull even with the Panthers. Unfortunately, after Tucker moved to third on a passed ball, the senior outfielder was thrown out at the plate when he tried to score on Taylor’s chopper to second. From there, the Blue and Gold managed to load the bases as Cook singled to center and Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked on four pitches, but an outstanding defensive play by Pittsburgh ended the inning. Charles Leblanc robbed Kevin Phillips of an RBI hit as he snagged his grounder up the middle, spun and flipped the ball to second for the inning-ending force out.
The Bucs made up for it an inning later as ETSU scored three runs on four hits and took advantage of a Pitt error to go ahead, 4-1. Owenby led things off with a double, and after moving to third on Jordan Sanford’s (Powell, Tenn.) sacrifice bunt, the Buccaneer freshman scored on Robby McCabe’s (New Port Richey, Fla.) single to center. With two outs and McCabe on second, Tucker reached on a throwing error by Leblanc at short and ETSU picked up clutch two-out RBI singles from Taylor and Cook to give Haeberle a three-run cushion.
After both teams were held scoreless in the fifth, the Blue and Gold broke the game open with a five-run sixth and extended their lead to, 9-1. Tucker drove in the first run of the inning when his RBI single to center plated Thompson, while a throwing error by Pitt third baseman Caleb Perry allowed Tucker and Taylor to score. Owenby capped off the scoring as his second double of the day drove in York and Cook, giving the Bucs an eight-run lead.
In the top of the eighth, Phillips’ two-out RBI double scored York – who reached on an infield single – making it a 10-1 score.
Pittsburgh added two runs in the eighth on RBIs by Jordan Frabasilio and Vazquez, while Leblanc scored on a wild pitch in the ninth.
Pitt left-hander Aaron Schnurbusch suffered the loss (0-2) as he allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits in 3.2 innings.
Offensively, four Panther hitters recorded two hits, while Pittsburgh finished with 10 as a team.
Pittsburgh dropped to 2-4 following the six-run setback.
Sunday marked the first-ever meeting between the two programs, while it’s also the eighth straight season ETSU has defeated a team from a “Power 5” conference.
ETSU at USC Upstate Recap
Griffin Krieg tossed six scoreless innings and Kevin Phillips drove in four runs en route to guiding ETSU to a 9-2 win over USC Upstate.
Krieg, who has tossed 14 scoreless innings in his two career starts at USC Upstate’s Harley Park, earned the win (1-0), marking his first victory since pitching eight scoreless innings in the win over the Spartans back on March 15, 2013.
Eight different Buccaneers accounted for their 13 hits. Chris Cook, Trey York, Hagen Owenby, Zach Thompson and Phillips all finished with two hits each. Cook, York and Phillips each scored two runs, while York became the sixth player in program history to hit two triples in one game. Phillips also registered his first home run of the season with a two-run bomb in the seventh.
For the first time this season, ETSU scored first as the Bucs hung up a four-spot in the second inning and led, 4-0. The frame began with back-to-back singles by Phillips and Owenby, and they scored on RBI singles from Robby McCabe and Thompson. Daniel Tucker capped off the hit parade when his single to right scored McCabe, while Thompson hustled home on Jeremy Taylor’s fielder’s choice RBI to second.
The Bucs added a run in the third when York ripped a one-out triple to the wall in left-center and scored on Phillips’ RBI ground out, pushing ETSU’s lead to, 5-0.
ETSU extended its lead to 7-0 by tacking on two more runs in the fifth. Cook and York registered back-to-back one-out triples to right-center and Phillips drove in his second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to right.
Phillips continued feasting on Spartan pitching as he belted a two-run homer to left in the seventh, while USC Upstate snapped ETSU’s shutout bid when Stephen Dowling returned the favor with a two-run blast in the bottom of the inning, making it a 9-2 score.
Freshman Dillon Cate (Sevierville, Tenn.) held the Spartans scoreless in the eighth and ninth to wrap up the win. The right-hander allowed one hit and struck out three in his second appearance of the campaign.
After opening the season with an 11-4 win over Dayton, the Spartans have now lost five straight and sit, 1-5.
James Fowlkes had two of USC Upstate’s five hits, while Dowling drove in the two runs with his homer. Richie Lacell suffered the loss (0-1) as he surrendered five runs on seven hits in four innings.
The Bucs return home to host Butler this upcoming weekend at Thomas Stadium. The three-game series begins Friday, Feb. 27 at 3:05 p.m.
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