HOMEWOOD, Ala. (May 8, 2016) – It was safe to say Jamin McCann (Kingsport, Tenn.) had some extra gas left in the tank.
After earning a win in relief Friday night in the series opener, the Buccaneer southpaw got the starting nod on Sunday and he was stellar yet again. McCann allowed one run in 5.2 innings, while the Buccaneer offense came alive late as the Blue and Gold capped off the series sweep with an 8-4 win over Samford on Sunday afternoon at Joe Lee Griffin Field.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Bucs, who swept VMI at home last weekend, have now posted back-to-back weekend sweeps for the first time since April of 2013 … In addition, this marks ETSU’s first road sweep since taking three at Northern Kentucky from April 5-7, 2013.
McCann, who went 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA (1 ER/8.1 IP) in two appearances this weekend, improved to 6-3 on the season … The Kingsport, Tenn. native scattered five hits, while striking out four and walking four … McCann retired the side in the first and fifth innings, and sat down five straight hitters before walking Damon Waller and issuing a double to Danny Rodriguez with two outs in the sixth.
Red-shirt junior Peyton Taylor (Kingsport, Tenn.) took over for McCann following the double and got the Bucs out of trouble … Overall, Taylor allowed one run on two hits with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings of relief … Sophomore righty Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) finished all three games in the series as he allowed two hits but struck out Waller looking to end the game with two runners on base.
Trey York (Knoxville, Tenn.), Blake Rowlett (Clarksville, Tenn.) and Aaron Maher (Kingsport, Tenn.) all kept their respective streaks alive on Sunday … York went 3-for-6 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBI to extend his hit streak to eight straight games ... Rowlett has now hit safely in 13 consecutive games and in each of ETSU’s first 18 SoCon games … Rowlett, who walked three times and had an RBI single in the seventh, has also reached base in 27 straight contests ... Maher kept his SoCon hit streak alive after recording an eighth inning single (also walked twice) … The Brentwood, Tenn. native has posted a hit in his last 13 conference games.
Senior Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) reached base three times on Sunday (single and two walks), while also scoring and driving in two runs … Taylor also stole two bases, moving his career total to 68 which ranks third all-time in program history.
As a group, ETSU registered nine hits and nine walks, while York’s two-run homer marked the eighth straight game the Bucs have gone yard.
With the win, ETSU has now won six straight conference games and improved to 22-25 overall, 9-9 in the SoCon … The Bucs are now tied for fifth with Wofford in the SoCon standings … The teams square off in a three-game series beginning Thursday night in Spartanburg, S.C. … ETSU is also one game back in the loss column from third-place Western Carolina.
Samford, who had two-hit games from Heath Quinn, Austin Edens and Danny Rodriguez, dropped to 26-22, 8-10 … Freshman right-hander Stephen Jones suffered the losing decision in the start … Jones (3-2) allowed two runs on three hits and walked five in 4.1 innings.
HOW THEY SCORED
Despite trailing 1-0 through four innings, ETSU struck for two runs in both the fifth and seventh to go ahead for good, 4-1.
Samford was held without a hit for the first two innings, but the Bulldogs struck first as Hunter Swilling hugged the line in left for an RBI double putting SU ahead, 1-0. The Buccaneer defense did a tremendous job limiting the damage to a run as Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) gunned down Swilling as he tried to steal third for the second out of the frame. The play proved to be critical as Heath Quinn laced a single to center, but he was left stranded after Jamin McCann induced Austin Edens into an inning-ending ground out to second.
The Bucs threatened in the top of the fourth as Kevin Phillips (St. Louis, Mo.) reached on an error and Blake Rowlett worked a walk, but Robby McCabe (New Port Richey, Fla.) hit into an inning-ending 1-4-6-3 double play.
McCann continued working out of trouble in the bottom half of the inning as he loaded the bases with one out, but got Frankie Navarrete to tap into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning, keeping it a 1-0 game.
ETSU finally rewarded the Buccaneer southpaw with a two-run fifth and the Blue and Gold never relinquished the lead as they went ahead, 2-1. With one out, Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) started the rally by singling up the middle and moved to second after Jeremy Taylor walked. From there, Trey York ripped an RBI single up the middle and Owenby walked to load the bases. Following a Samford pitching change, right-hander Josh Rich spiked one in the dirt, but Taylor was called out as he tried to score from third on the play. Fortunately, another wild pitch gave York the opportunity to score the go-ahead run, but another base-running blunder prevented the Bucs from adding to their lead. Rich threw another wild pitch and Owenby broke to third on the play, but the Buccaneer catcher was called out for the final out of the frame.
Things remained tight in the fifth and sixth innings, but the Buccaneer defense continued coming up with key plays to keep their one-run lead intact. After McCann got two easy outs in the sixth, he issued a walk and surrendered a double to put two runners in scoring position. Following the double, McCann’s day was done and Peyton Taylor entered out of the pen and got ETSU out of the jam. Taylor walked pinch hitter Jordan Fucci to load the bases, but got pinch hitter Troy Dixon to hit a slow roller to third and Rowlett made the barehanded play to get the Bulldog runner out at first for the final out of the inning.
The Bucs scratched across two more runs in the seventh to extend their lead to, 4-1. Taylor was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, moved into scoring position by stealing second and third, and sprinted home on a wild pitch. ETSU eventually loaded the bases with one out after Owenby and Maher both walked and Kevin Phillips was hit by pitch, which led to Rowlett’s RBI infield single. Rowlett hit a slow roller between the mound and first, and Samford reliever Tanner Cunningham slipped on the play allowing the Buccaneer third baseman to reach safely.
ETSU tacked on some insurance runs in the eighth and ninth to go ahead, 8-2. In the eighth, Lance Mays (Ridgely, Tenn.) singled and later scored on Taylor’s squeeze bunt, while York pelted a two-run homer to left-center making it a 7-1 score. Following a solo home run to Austin Edens in the bottom of the eighth, Taylor ripped a two-out RBI single to center, which scored pinch runner Danny Carrier (Cincinnati, Ohio) from second.
The runs came in handy as Samford rallied in the bottom of the ninth when Heath Quinn and Austin Edens came through with back-to-back RBI singles, but with two on and one out, Ryan Simpler forced Alex Lee to line out to center and struck out Waller looking to end the game.
ETSU continues its seven-game road on Thursday night when the Bucs open a three-game SoCon set at Wofford … First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Russell C. King Field.
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