RADFORD and BLACKSBURG, Va. (March 23, 2015) – The ETSU baseball team wraps up its six-game road swing with a pair of midweek games in Virginia starting Tuesday night at Radford. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at the RU Baseball Stadium.
On Wednesday, the Blue and Gold head to Blacksburg for a tilt with Virginia Tech at 6 p.m. at English Field.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (11-10) was swept over the weekend at Mercer to open Southern Conference play.
Senior right-hander Jimmy Nesselt (Plantation, Fla.) suffered some tough luck in Friday’s opener as he allowed two unearned runs in a 2-0 setback to the Bears. Despite scoring four first-inning runs in game two of the series, ETSU couldn’t contain Mercer’s offense as the Bears rallied for an 11-5 win, while Mercer finished the sweep by scoring three unanswered runs – capped off by Kyle Lewis’ two-out, walk-off home run in the ninth inning – to win 10-9.
The Bucs were outscored, 23-14, and outhit, 33-30, in the series. Of ETSU’s 30 hits, only three went for extra bases (three doubles), while 16 of Mercer’s hits went for extra bases – 10 doubles, one triple and five home runs.
Freshman Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit .462 (6-13) with two runs and two RBI in the three games, while Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached safely in all three games and has accomplished the feat in all 21 games for the Bucs this season. Daniel Tucker (Hendersonville, Tenn.) and Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) combined for 10 hits, five runs and three RBI in the series.
Radford has won four of its last six and enter Tuesday’s game with an 11-11 mark.
The Highlanders took two of three over Liberty to open Big South play this past weekend, but after outscoring the Flames, 21-8 in the first two games, Radford was blanked 3-0 in Sunday’s finale.
Josh Gardiner, a senior infielder, leads the team in average (.412), hits (35), runs (23), and stolen bases (8), while senior outfielder Patrick Marshall has belted four of Radford’s 11 home runs and leads the club in doubles (8), RBI (20) and walks (18).
Seven of Radford’s 22 games have been decided by two runs or less with the Highlanders going 2-5 in those contests.
The Highlanders are coming off back-to-back 30-win seasons, including a program-best 33 wins in 2014.
ETSU is sending junior left-hander Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) to the hill on Tuesday night, while Radford counters with fellow southpaw Zack Ridgely.
Jacques, who has made 11 starts in his first two seasons with the Bucs, has made eight appearances this year – his most recent being the one-third of an inning stint last Friday at Mercer – where he induced a ground out.
Jacques tossed one scoreless inning and struck out two Radford hitters in ETSU’s 9-1 win back on March 3 at Thomas Stadium.
Ridgely is 0-1 with a 5.14 ERA (4 ER/7.0 IP) in seven appearances (one start) this season for Radford. Ridgely’s lone start was in the loss to ETSU where he was charged with four runs (two earned) on three hits in one inning of action.
ETSU leads the all-time series, 23-17, and the Bucs defeated Radford 9-1 back on March 3, marking Coach Skole’s 400th win at ETSU.
The Bucs scored six runs in the first two innings, while freshman Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) tossed five scoreless innings and struck out four to earn his first collegiate win. Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.), Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.), Kevin Phillips and Trey York combined for 10 of ETSU’s 13 hits. York went 3 for 3 with a home run and drove in three and Phillips was 3 for 4 with two RBI.
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH
The Hokies have won five of their last eight – including a sweep of then-No. 1 Virginia (March 13-15 – and sit 12-12 on the season.
Like the Bucs, Virginia Tech plays a pair of midweek games as the Hokies host Norfolk State on Tuesday.
Senior infielder Alex Perez leads the club with a .337 batting average and has scored a team-best 28 runs. Senior infielder Brendon Hayden has belted six of Virginia Tech’s 17 home runs and has driven in a team-high 21 runs, while Perez and Erik Payne have three homers.
Virginia Tech has held its opponents to three runs or less eight times, including a 4-3 12-inning win over Clemson on Sunday.
Wednesday marks the 51st all-time meeting between the two programs with Virginia Tech leading the series, 33-17.
Wednesday’s meeting is the first since Virginia Tech defeated ETSU, 13-6, back on April 19, 2011 in Johnson City.
The Bucs are searching for their first win over the Hokies since defeating Virginia Tech, 7-3, back on Feb. 24, 2009 in Blacksburg.
Sophomore left-hander Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) gets the start for the Blue and Gold, while the Hokies have yet to name their starter.
McCann is making his second start of the season and is 1-0 in nine appearances for the Bucs.
Live stats will be available for both games via StatBroadcast by visiting ETSUBucs.com. Fans can access live stats on their computers, mobile devices or tablets.
Wednesday’s game will be broadcast live on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster as “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos will have the call starting at 5 p.m. with the Atmos Energy Dugout Show.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
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