GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 3, 2015) – Freshman right-hander Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) allowed two runs in a career-high seven innings, while six Buccaneers finished with multi-hit games as ETSU defeated Furman, 7-3, in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Latham Stadium.
ETSU (18-29, 6-12 SoCon) scored three first-inning runs, while Simpler took a shutout into the seventh inning before surrendering a pair of solo home runs; however, the Blue and Gold struck for three runs in the ninth to seal the conference victory.
Simpler, who earned his first win since defeating Radford on March 3, recorded his first SoCon win (2-4), while junior Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.) tossed the final two innings for his first save as a Buccaneer. Simpler (four strikeouts) and Jacques (one strikeout) combined for five strikeouts and zero walks, marking the third time this season ETSU pitchers did not allow a walk. The Bucs are 3-0 in those contests.
Offensively, Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.), Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.), Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.), Jordan Sanford (Powell, Tenn.), Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) all finished with multi-hit games. Taylor (22 games) and Sanford (20 games) kept their streaks of reaching safely intact, while York led the group by tying a career high with three hits, along with scoring and driving in one run. Taylor and Sanford both totaled two hits and scored two runs each, and Bailey went 2-for-4 with one RBI for his third collegiate multi-hit game in 11 starts. Phillips also registered two hits, scored a run and drove in two of ETSU’s three ninth-inning runs.
As a team, the Bucs pounded out 15 hits – the most in conference play this season – and it was the 24th time the Blue and Gold recorded double-digit hits on the campaign.
Like they did all series, ETSU jumped out to an early lead as the Bucs scored three runs on four hits and took advantage of one Furman error to go ahead, 3-0, in the top of the first. Taylor ignited the surge by reaching on a leadoff double and came around to score on York’s bloop single to right. From there, Sanford continued his hot hitting by doubling home York and the senior outfielder hustled home when Maher reached on a two-out fielding error by Ryan Morse at first.
Following the explosive start by the Blue and Gold, the game turned into a pitcher’s duel as neither team scored until Bailey’s two-out RBI single in the sixth plated Sanford, making it a 4-0 score. Prior to Sanford’s two-out single, Furman starter Will Gaddis faced the minimum following the first inning.
Simpler took a shutout into the seventh inning, but had his run of retiring 12 straight Furman hitters snapped after allowing a leadoff home run to Morse, while Jordan Simpson followed suit with a blast to left-center, cutting the Paladins deficit to two, 4-2.
After leaving the bases loaded in the eighth, ETSU made up for the offensive miscue an inning later as the first three Buccaneers reached to start the ninth and Phillips drove in Robby McCabe (New Port Richey, Fla.) and Taylor with a two-run scoring single and he eventually scored on a fielder’s choice RBI by Sanford, extending the lead to five, 7-2.
Simpson connected on a one-out homer in the bottom of the ninth, but Jacques bounced back by retiring two of the next three hitters to earn the save.
Gaddis suffered the loss (3-5) after allowing four runs (three earned) on 11 hits in eight innings.
Morse, Simpson and Cameron Whitehead all finished with two hits, while the Paladins were out-hit, 15-10.
The Bucs return home to host Winthrop on Wednesday night at 6:05 p.m. at Thomas Stadium.
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