ROCK HILL, S.C. (April 22, 2015) – Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) blasted his team-leading 10th home run of the season and Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) drove in two runs, but it wasn’t enough to lift ETSU past Winthrop as the Eagles rallied for an 8-4 win on Wednesday night at Winthrop Ballpark.
York got the Blue and Gold off to a quick start as his double in the top of the first drove in the two runs, but Winthrop answered with a three-run second inning and never relinquished its lead. ETSU pulled back within a run in the fourth, while Phillips’ leadoff homer in the eighth made it a two-run score before the Eagles tacked on two runs in the bottom of the inning to secure the four-run victory.
The double by York and homer from Phillips were their only hits of the night, while Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) – who made his first collegiate start at shortstop – went 2 for 5 with a run scored and Andrew Lasure (Stanford, Ky.) added a pair of hits off the bench. Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) drove in ETSU’s other run with an RBI bunt single in the fourth, while Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) reached via two walks and scored a run.
Peyton Taylor (Kingsport, Tenn.) made his first start of the season and took the loss (0-2) as he allowed three runs on five hits and walked two in 1.2 innings, while sophomore right-hander Connor Bartow (Jonesborough, Tenn.) was the lone Buccaneer reliever to work a scoreless inning as he surrendered one hit in 1.1 innings of action. In total, ETSU’s pitchers were charged with four wild pitches, resulting in two runs coming across the plate on the miscues. Logan Gentry (Kingsport, Tenn.) issued a pair of wild pitches in the fifth, while Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) allowed a run to score on poor pitch in the eighth.
Following the setback, ETSU suffered its seventh straight loss and dipped to 14-26, while Winthrop won its seventh in a row to improve to 29-14.
ETSU jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first as York drove in a pair of runs with his double down the right field line; however, Winthrop plated three runs in the second and added a run in the third to go ahead, 4-2.
In the second, the Eagles got a sacrifice fly RBI by Chad Smith, while Taylor walked in the next run and Jace Whitley scored on a fielder’s choice RBI from Brad Kaczka. Winthrop added to its lead an inning later when Smith’s two-out RBI single scored Mark Lowrie, giving Arnone Riley a two-run cushion on the mound.
The Bucs answered in the fourth when Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) worked a one-out walk – and after Danny Carrier (Cincinnati, Ohio) entered as a pinch runner – he later scored on Thompson’s two-out RBI bunt single, making it a 4-3 game.
Winthrop – who got a key defensive play in the top of the fifth – extended its lead to 6-3 by plating runs in the bottom half of the inning as John Menken scored on a wild pitch and Lowrie came home on Whitley’s sac-fly RBI to center. In the top of the inning, ETSU had the tying run on second when Cook singled to center, but Doug McFarland (Mohnton, Pa.) tried to score on the play and was gunned down at the plate.
After both teams were held scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings, Phillips connected on his leadoff homer in the eighth, but Haeberle was tagged for two runs in the bottom of the frame, pushing the Eagles’ lead to four, 8-4.
The Blue and Gold threatened in the top of the ninth as Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) reached on an infield single to start the inning and Lasure posted a single to center, but ETSU was unable to do further damage. Taylor lined into a double play at first and Cook fouled out to first to end the game.
Arnone didn’t factor in the decision as he was pulled after scattering three runs on four hits in four innings and Zach Sightler (5-1) earned the win by recording two scoreless frames out of the pen.
All nine Winthrop starters posted a hit as the Eagles outhit the Blue and Gold, 14-10. Lowrie led the way with a 4 for 4 effort and scored three runs.
The Bucs open a three-game conference set with Western Carolina Friday night at Thomas Stadium. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
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