JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 29, 2015) – Junior Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) broke a Buccaneer single-game record with four stolen bases and scored four runs, while junior right-hander Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) tossed five strong innings as ETSU wrapped up its homestand with a 10-4 win over Appalachian State on Wednesday night at Thomas Stadium.
ETSU (17-27) got off to a strong start offensively to pick up its third win in four games as the Blue and Gold scored seven runs in the first two innings, while eight Buccaneers accounted for the 11 hits. Overall, the Bucs have posted double-digit runs and hits in back-to-back games.
Taylor, who tied a career-high with four runs, extended his streak of reaching safely to 19 straight games after going 1-for-2 with one double, three walks and two RBI, while Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.), Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) finished with two-hits each. Cook doubled and drove in two runs, while also pitching a scoreless ninth inning with one strikeout. Owenby and Maher both drove in a run and Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) went 1-for-3 with a double, run scored and two RBI.
Haeberle (4-6) allowed three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and two walks in five innings to earn the win, and the Buccaneer bullpen held Appalachian State (13-32) to one run on two hits in the final four innings. Freshman right-hander Logan Gentry (Kingsport, Tenn.) tossed two perfect innings with three strikeouts and sophomore southpaw Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout in one inning of relief.
Despite surrendering a pair of solo home runs in the top of the first, Haeberle bounced back by limiting the Mountaineers to one run on two hits in his final four innings.
The Buccaneer hurler was quickly rewarded with three runs in the first and ETSU added four more in the second to go ahead, 7-3.
Taylor worked a walk and stole third before scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first, while Trey York (Kingsport, Tenn.) – who reached on the first of two catcher’s interference calls on the night – sprinted home Phillips’ RBI double to left. Phillips later scored on Maher’s single to left, putting the Blue and Gold ahead by a run.
After the Mountaineers tied it a three in the top of the second, the Bucs exploded with four runs on four hits in the bottom of the frame to regain the lead for good. Senior Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.) began the inning with a walk, while Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.), Taylor and Cook connected on three consecutive doubles to go up by four.
Haeberle and Gentry then held the Mountaineers scoreless for the next five innings and the Bucs tacked on a run in the fourth to extend their lead to, 8-3. Taylor reached on an error to start the frame, stole third and scored on Cook’s RBI single to center.
The Mountaineers cut their deficit in half in the eighth when Dillon Dobson connected on his second home run of the night, but ETSU responded with two runs in the bottom half, resulting in the 10-4 score. Again, it was Taylor who ignited the spurt, as he walked and moved to second on Cook’s sacrifice bunt. From there, the speedster swiped third for his record-breaking fourth steal and hustled home on Phillips’ sac-fly to center. Meanwhile, York – who reached on his second catcher’s interference call – scored on Andrew Lasure’s (Stanford, Ky.) pinch-hit double to right.
Cook made his third straight relief appearance and pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to wrap up the six-run non-conference victory.
To go with his four runs and four stolen bases, Taylor also made a SportsCenter Top 10 worthy catch in the top of the fifth when he robbed Dobson of extra bases with an unbelievable diving catch in right-center. Click here for video of the catch.
Freshman right-hander Reed Howell suffered the loss (1-5) as he was tagged for seven runs (five earned) on six hits in two innings, while Dobson had two of Appalachian State’s six hits with the two solo homers. Conner Leonard also homered in the setback.
The Buccaneers return to action this weekend as ETSU heads to Greenville, S.C., for a critical Southern Conference series at Furman, beginning Friday night at 7 p.m.
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