Bucs win frigid series opener against Niagara, 4-3
Friday, February 16, 2007

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2007) - The Baseball Bucs plated runs in each of the first three frames, and three pitchers combined to strike out 10 Niagara batters as ETSU held on for 4-3 victory in its 2007 home opener Friday afternoon at Cardinal Park.


Sophomore Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga.) opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, scoring from third on freshman Tanner Moore's (Chattanooga, Tenn.) groundout.  Mendez led off the inning with a double to right field, and advanced to third on senior Michael Courtney's (Knoxville, Tenn.) groundout.


The Bucs (2-2) tacked on two more runs in the second, started by freshman Justin Tramble's (Marietta, Ga.) RBI single to left field scoring senior Justin Aughey (Davie, Fla.)  With runners at the corners, ETSU pushed its advantage to 3-0 on a perfectly executed double steal.  Tramble swiped second, beating the throw from Niagara catcher Clint Elkins, and sophomore Jacob Fabry (Chattanooga, Tenn.) slid into home just ahead of shortstop Andrew MacDonald's relay back to the plate.


After the Purple Eagles (0-1) scored two runs in the third, ETSU answered with another run in the bottom half.  Junior Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md.) reached on a one-out error and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Aughey singled up the middle, driving in the Bucs' fourth run.


Junior Brandon Langston (Ringgold, Ga.) pitched six strong innings, striking out a career high seven batters and surrendering just one earned run while scattering six hits, evening his record at 1-1.  Senior Tony Lombardi (Windsor, Calif.) pitched two innings of hitless relief before giving way to senior closer Caleb Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.). The Purple Eagles scratched out a ninth inning run against Glafenhein, but the senior induced a groundout to end the threat and pick up his first career save.


Mark Wilson took the loss for Niagara, falling to 0-1 on the season, despite throwing 128 pitches over 7 2/3 innings in brutal conditions.


The teams continue the series Saturday afternoon with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Cardinal Park.