JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 21, 2016) – The ETSU baseball team will hit the road to Rock Hill, S.C. to square off against Winthrop on March 22 at 6 p.m. for the Bucs' third road game of the season.
Recap versus FGCU
The Eagles took two games away from the Bucs in Johnson City as FGCU won on Friday and Sunday. ETSU won game two by a final score of 6-4 and displayed great pitching and hitting in the two run win.
On Friday, the Blue and Gold outhit the opposition 11-9 and was led by Aaron Maher’s (Brentwood, Tenn.) three base knocks. He tallied a double and two singles with a stolen base. Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Lance Mays (Ridgely, Tenn.) each posted a multi-hit game. Mays plated one run, while York touched home once. The bullpen highlighted game one and featured LHP Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.), RHP Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.), and LHP Josh Jacques (Rollinsford, N.H.).
McCann tossed three scoreless innings of one-hit baseball, and Krieg went 1.1 innings with a strikeout and no runs scored. Jacques finished the last 0.2 innings without letting up a run or hit.
In game two, the Bucs were led by seniors Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.), Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.), and York. York and Phillips each cranked home runs in the game. York started the scoring in the game with a two run homer, and Phillips knotted the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. Taylor finished the afternoon going 2-4 with a pair of singles and a stolen base.
Pitching on Saturday was strong as senior Lee Haeberle (Hendersonville, Tenn.) started and went seven strong innings. He allowed four runs while striking out eight and walking one. Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) came out of the pen and went one inning with one hit and no runs, and Peyton Taylor (Kingsport, Tenn.) earned the save by closing out the ninth.
The rubber series featured a back-and-forth game as the Bucs struck early with three unanswered runs in the first two innings. The Eagles retaliated with six unanswered, followed by four straight from ETSU. FGCU tacked on five runs in the last three innings. The Blue and Gold tried to comeback in the last two innings but could only plate three runs to fall 11-10.
Three players for ETSU had three-hit games Sunday: Caleb Longley (Cleveland, Tenn.), Robby McCabe (New Port Richey, Fla.), and Jeremy Taylor. Longley had three doubles with a RBI and three runs scored, and McCabe tallied his third home run of the season and scored three RBIs. Phillips finished the series going 1-4 with a sacrifice fly and RBI double. The Buccaneer offense did not strikeout once on Sunday as they drew eight walks.
Scouting the Eagles
Winthrop has five players that have started all 20 games for the Eagles. All five players have a batting average of at least .294. Switch-hitting, catcher Roger Gonzalez leads the team in batting average (.387), extra base hits (8), RBIs (24), slugging percentage (.547), and on-base percentage (.457).He has scored 17 times and has struck out and walked ten times.
Red-shirt junior Anthony Paulsen totes a .345 batting average and is second on the team in hits with 30. Paulsen also has eight extra base hits with five doubles, one triple, and one home run. He is 4-6 in stolen bases and is error-free in the outfield grass. Tyler Asbill is another threat for the Eagles as he has a .326 batting average this season with 31 hits and 19 runs scored. He has struck out 12 times and walked only three times.
The Bucs will face sophomore LHP Riley Arnone on Tuesday. He has started two games this season for Winthrop with seven games coming out of the bullpen. Arnone is undefeated going 2-0 this season. In his last start, he faced NC A&T in Greensboro, N.C. where he tossed three innings of scoreless baseball. He gave up three hits against the Aggies while striking out five and walking a pair. On the season, he has allowed just two extra base hits to the opposition but has walked ten batters in 15.1 innings of work.
The Eagles’ pitching staff has a 5.29 team ERA and has limited opposing batters to a .278 batting average. They surrender many home runs (17), but their pitchers strikeout a lot of hitters (142) and limit their walks (56).
Winthrop leads the all-time series 8-1, but last season, the Bucs and Eagles split the home and away series.
The only ETSU win over Winthrop came last year in Johnson City, when the Buccaneers won 15-5 over the Eagles. The Blue and Gold spanked the ball in the win as they totaled 21 hits and had six players with multi-hit games. York, Phillips, and Maher each tallied two RBIs, and Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) had a three-hit performance.
Starting Pitching Comparison
McCann is set to make his first start this season for ETSU, and he will be matched up against Arnone.
McCann started three games last season and 12 during his freshman season. In the current season, he sports a 6.30 ERA in ten innings. He has allowed seven runs and struck out three, and he limits opposing batters to a .265 batting average.
What’s Next for the Bucs?
ETSU will open their SoCon play on March 24 at 5 p.m. in Cullowhee, N.C. against Western Carolina. The second and third games of the series will be played on March 25 and 26 at 5 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
The Catamounts will travel to Chapel Hill to take on UNC in a midweek match on March 22 before opening their SoCon baseball schedule against the Bucs. WCU is currently 9-10 and have won five of their last six games.
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