JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 30, 2015) – The ETSU baseball team wraps up its four-game homestand when the Bucs host Morehead State Tuesday night at Thomas Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
ETSU (12-14, 1-5 SoCon) dropped two of three to UNCG over the weekend as the Spartans won the first two games of the conference series before the Bucs rallied for a 5-3 victory on Sunday, which snapped their seven-game losing streak.
Head Coach Tony Skole earned his 500th career victory in Sunday’s win, while it also marked ETSU’s first SoCon win since May 13, 2005 when the Bucs defeated Davidson, 8-3. The Bucs were in the Atlantic Sun from 2006-14.
The series was tightly contested as UNCG was plus-2 in runs scored (18-16), plus-2 in hits (33-31) and hit two percentage points higher than ETSU, .300-.298. The difference came in the Spartans’ two extra home runs and two extra hits with runners in scoring position, 10-8. UNCG also put the leadoff man on four more times than the Bucs, 9-5.
Sophomore Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) led the Bucs offensively as he hit .583 (7-12) with one double, two home runs, seven runs scored, and four RBI. Cook – who has hit safely in 10 straight games – homered in consecutive games on Saturday and Sunday. Junior Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) was 6 for 13 (.462) with one triple, two home runs and five RBI, while fellow junior Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) registered his 100th collegiate hit when his RBI single in the bottom of the eighth plated the eventual game-winning run.
Junior Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) gave the Blue and Gold a quality start on Sunday. The right-handed hurler allowed three runs in a season-high seven innings, while striking out four and walking none. Red-shirt freshman Dillon Cate (Sevierville, Tenn.) earned the win as he held UNCG scoreless for the final two innings.
ABOUT MOREHEAD STATE
Morehead State (13-13) snapped a six-game losing skid by winning the final two games of the series versus Eastern Kentucky over the weekend. The Eagles outscored EKU, 31-16, in the final two games.
Morehead State has five players hitting over .300 with red-shirt senior catcher/outfielder Chris Robinson pacing the group with a .375 clip. Robinson is 36 for 96 with 11 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 30 runs scored and 24 RBI. Senior infielder Kane Sweeney – who is hitting .314 – leads the team with five home runs and 22 walks, while fellow senior infielder Robby Spencer has driven in a team-best 30 runs.
As a team, the Eagles are averaging over 11 runs (78 total) in their seven home games, compared to only five runs (97 total) in their 19 road games.
Seven of Morehead State’s 13 wins have come on the road.
Freshman right-hander Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) will be making his third start of the season for ETSU, while Morehead State has yet to name its starter.
Simpler is 1-2 with a 5.13 ERA (15 ER/26.1 IP) with 31 strikeouts in 10 appearances this season, but is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA (3 ER/10.1 IP) in his two starts.
Morehead State leads the all-time series, 43-26, but the Bucs defeated the Eagles, 17-14, earlier this month in Kentucky.
ETSU outscored Morehead State, 13-3, in the final four innings to rally for the victory. In total, the game featured 31 runs on 41 hits, while Phillips, Cook and Andrew Lasure (Stanford, Ky.) combined for 12 RBI. The Bucs posted a season-high 23 hits, marking the most since registering 24 in a 22-4 win over Stetson on May 1, 2010.
Cook went 3 for 6 and drove in a career-high five runs, Phillips tied a career high with four hits and Lasure had three hits and four RBI. Lasure’s three hits tied a personal best and his four RBI were a new career high.
Tuesday marks the first home game versus Morehead State since March 7, 2001 when ETSU defeated the Eagles, 11-10.
Tuesday’s game will be video streamed on the SoCon Digital Network, while it will also be broadcast on WXSM-AM 640 The Extreme Sports Monster as “Voice of the Bucs” Jay Sandos will have the call starting with the Atmos Energy Dugout Show, which begins 30 minutes prior to first pitch.
Live stats will be available via StatBroadcast by visiting ETSUBucs.com. Fans can access live stats on their computers, mobile devices or tablets.
Live updates will also be posted on Twitter by following @ETSUAthletics and @ETSU_Baseball.
A LOOK AHEAD
ETSU opens a three-game non-conference series with St. Louis on Thursday night at 7 p.m. (ET) at the Billiken Sports Center.
Single-game tickets to ETSU baseball games are $10 for reserved seats behind home plate and $5 for reserved seats along the baselines.
Single-game tickets are $2 for groups of 10 or more people. Please call (423) 439-4828 for details.
Tickets can be purchased at the stadium, online at ETSUBucs.com, or by calling (423) 439-3878.
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For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.