ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 4, 2015) – For the second time in as many weeks, the ETSU baseball team fell to UNC Asheville as the Bulldogs scored five runs in the first two innings and defeated the Bucs, 8-6, on Wednesday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
The Bucs, who suffered a 3-2 setback to UNCA back on Feb. 28 at the Upstate Classic, surrendered three runs in the first and two more in the second, and ETSU could never get over the hump.
Junior Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) extended his hit streak to 10 straight games after going 2 for 4 with one triple and two RBI, while Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.) also posted multi-hit games for the Bucs. Cook finished 2 for 4 with a walk and run scored, while two of Sanford’s three hits went for doubles and he also scored two runs.
Freshman right-hander Dalton Long (Knoxville, Tenn.) made his collegiate debut on the mound but suffered the loss (0-1) as he allowed five runs on four hits in 1.1 innings. Sophomore lefty Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) allowed one unearned run in four innings out of the pen, but the Bucs couldn’t dig out of their early deficit.
The Bucs dipped to 7-3 following the setback, while UNCA improved to 5-6.
UNCA jumped out to an early lead as the Bulldogs pushed across three two-out runs in the bottom of the first and plated two more in the second to lead, 5-0. In the first, the Bulldogs got RBI singles by Kyle Towles and Pete Guy, while Joe Tietjen wrapped up the scoring with a triple to right-center. An inning later, Kyle Carruthers scored on a passed ball and Tommy Houmard came home on Lucas Owens’ single to right in the second.
The Bucs had runners on in each of the first three innings, but ETSU grounded into double plays to end all three frames.
ETSU finally got on the board when York extended his hit streak with the triple in the fourth and came home on Phillips’ double to left; however, the Bulldogs got the run back in the bottom of the fifth when Hunter Bryant scored on a fielding error by Cook at third, making it a 6-1 score.
The Blue and Gold scratched across a pair of runs in the seventh and cut their deficit in half, 6-3. Sanford led off the inning with a double down the left field line and later scored on a wild pitch, while Robby McCabe (New Port Richey, Fla.) – who reached via a walk – came in on Jeremy Taylor’s (Fayetteville, Ga.) sacrifice fly to center.
Unfortunately, UNCA answered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the seventh to regain a five-run lead, 8-3. Joe Tietjen drove in a run with an RBI double to right-center, while Joe Zayatz’s single to single to right brought in Tietjen.
The Bucs loaded the bases in the ninth and York cleared them as he singled and advanced to third on a fielding error by Tietjen in right, but with the tying run at the plate, Nick Schavone induced Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) into a game-ending ground out.
UNCA starter Jordan Fulbright picked up the win (2-0) as the left-hander allowed one run on six hits in five innings of action, while Schavone earned his second save of the year.
The Bulldogs – who outhit ETSU, 14-10 – were led by Guy Pete’s three-hit day, while four other Bulldog hitters posted two-hit games.
The Bucs return home to host Big 12 foe West Virginia in a three-game series beginning Friday at 4:05 p.m. at Thomas Stadium.
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