JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 16, 2015) – Coming off a weekend sweep over Miami University, the ETSU baseball team now embarks on a six-game road swing beginning Tuesday afternoon at Morehead State. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at Allen Field.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (10-7) snapped a five-game losing skid by sweeping reigning Mid-American Conference East champion Miami University over the weekend at Thomas Stadium.
The Bucs opened the series with a powerful performance by Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) as the senior right-hander struck out a career-high 12 and led ETSU to a 7-5 win in the opener. Junior Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.), who was named Southern Conference Player of the Week earlier on Monday, led the Blue and Gold to a series win when his two-out, three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh snapped a tie game and led ETSU to a 6-5 victory on Saturday. Despite having its five-run ninth-inning lead evaporate on Sunday, Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) provided the heroics as his walk-off hit in the bottom of the inning capped off a wild 11-10 win and completed the series sweep.
Phillips was 6 for 12 with three doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI in the series, while Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) combined to go 9 for 20 (.450) with five doubles, eight runs and eight RBI. Cook, who recorded a career-high four hits on Sunday, went 5 for 11 with three doubles, four runs and three RBI and York hit .444 (4-9) with two doubles, four runs, three walks and five RBI. The Knoxville, Tenn., native has reached base safely in all 17 games for the Buccaneers.
Nesselt (3 ER/7.0 IP) and Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) both gave ETSU quality starts. Haeberle held the RedHawks to three runs in six innings on Saturday. Freshman right-hander Dillon Cate (Sevierville, Tenn.) registered two saves and earned the win on Sunday.
As a staff, ETSU’s pitchers struck out 33 hitters in the series.
ETSU was out-hit in the first two games of the series, marking the first two wins of the season when the Bucs were out-hit. On Sunday, the Bucs registered a season-high 18 hits – nine for extra bases (seven doubles, one triple and one home run).
ABOUT MOREHEAD STATE
After winning eight of its first 11 games to start the season – including taking three of four from then-No. 34 San Diego – Morehead State has dropped three of five and sit 10-6 on the season.
The Eagles have three players hitting over .300 with senior outfielder Nick Newell leading the team with a .379 average. Senior infielder Kane Sweeney is hitting .362 with three home runs and nine RBI, while red-shirt catcher/outfielder Chris Robinson is 18 for 52 (.346) with eight doubles, 15 runs and 12 RBI.
Senior outfielder Brandon Rawe was named Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American, while he Robinson and Sweeney were placed on the Ohio Valley Conference all-preseason team.
As a team, Morehead State is outscoring its opponents, 93-71, and 49 of its 141 hits have gone for extra bases – 36 doubles, four triples and nine home runs.
Despite being 0-2 out of the bullpen, red-shirt junior right-hander Craig Pearcy has five saves in eight appearances for the Eagles.
Sophomore southpaw Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) will get the start for ETSU, while Morehead State counters with junior right-hander Tyler Keele.
McCann went 4-3 with a 5.40 ERA (30 ER/50.0 IP) in 11 starts for the Bucs last season and is 1-0 with a 4.72 ERA (7 ER/13.1 IP) in seven appearances this year.
Keele is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA (3 ER/6.0 IP) in five appearances this year.
Both pitchers are making their first starts on Tuesday.
Morehead State leads the all-time series, 43-25.
Tuesday marks the first meeting since May 14, 2002.
ETSU and Morehead have split the last six meetings.
The Bucs open conference play as ETSU heads to Macon, Ga., for a weekend series with Mercer beginning Friday night at 6 p.m.
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