JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 24, 2012) – The ETSU baseball team pounded out a season-high 17 hits and starting pitcher John Long (Anderson, S.C.) had another strong outing lifting the Bucs to a 12-4 victory over Saint Joseph’s in the series opener at Thomas Stadium, Friday afternoon.
Long (2-0) earned his second straight victory of the season as he tossed 7.0 innings of shutout baseball. He gave up just four hits and one walk, while striking out five.
The ETSU bats got going from the very start as each Buccaneer with an at-bat recorded at least one hit on the afternoon, while seven players had multi-hit games.
ETSU junior Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) was 3-for-4 at the plate, while scoring a run and picking up an RBI. Meanwhile, Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.), Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.), Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Alex Reynolds (Johnson City, Tenn.) each recorded two hits on the day.
Scruggs clubbed his fourth home run in as many games after he deposited a 2-1 pitched over the wall in left-center in the fifth inning. Doane and Pratt were both 2-for-5 with two RBIs apiece.
Freshman Zach Thompson (Johnson City, Tenn.), who earned his first start of the season, was 1-for-3 with a triple and a team-leading three RBIs on the day.
After Long sat the Hawks down in order to start the game, the Buccaneer bats scored a run on two hits in the bottom half of the frame. Green led off with a line drive triple over the right fielder’s head and later scored on a Doane RBI groundout.
The Bucs blew the game wide open following a second inning in which they scored nine runs on 10 hits, including seven hits in a row to start the stanza. Reynolds got it started with a leadoff single and was followed by a Niesman single. Then, Thompson recorded a two-run triple in his first career collegiate at-bat to put the Bucs up 3-0. Catcher Zach Waters (Woodstock, Ga.) increased the lead to 4-0 after an RBI single. Following base hits by Green and Scruggs, Doane delivered his second RBI of the game with a single to left field, putting the Bucs in front 5-0. With Doane and Scruggs on second and third, Pratt lined a two-run double to right field to increase the lead to 7-0. Reynolds, who came up for the second time in the frame, drove in Doane with a single to center. After Niesman recorded the Bucs’ 10th hit of the inning off of SJU starting pitcher Kyle Mullen (0-2), the Hawks went to the bullpen and made a pitching change. Daniel Thorpe took the mound and immediately surrendered a bases loaded walk to Thompson. The Bucs finally capped off the scoring in the inning after Reynolds scored on a wild pitch – making the score 10-0.
ETSU scored another run in the fourth inning as Pratt led off the frame with his second double of the game. He later came around to score on Niesman’s RBI single to center field.
The Bucs capped off their scoring in the fifth inning on Scruggs’ one-out solo homer to left center.
Saint Joseph’s ended the shutout in the ninth inning as the Hawks put four runs across on three hits. The Hawks got the first two batters of the inning on with a single and walk surrendered by Waters, who came from behind the plate to pitch the ninth. After a strikeout, Mike Brown reached on an error to load the bases. A sacrifice fly by Lansing Veeder put the Hawks on the board, 12-1. Tim Craig then followed with an RBI single to make the score 12-2. Stefan Kancylarz delivered a two-run single to keep the Saint Joseph’s rally alive. The Bucs called upon Will Chesney (Knoxville, Tenn.) from the bullpen and Chesney struck out Quinn Renner to close out the contest.
The Bucs will host Saint Joseph’s in game two of the series tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. Derek Bushey (Richmond, Va.) will be on the mound for the Bucs and will oppose Alex Pracher (0-1).
- Matthew Scruggs recorded his 30th career home run and he now leads all Atlantic Sun student-athletes in career homers.
- The 17-hit performance by the Bucs was their most since recording 18 hits in a victory over Campbell on May 14 of last year.
- With his three hits on Friday, Derek Niesman matched his career-high for hits in a game, which he has done on five other occasions
- Clinton Freeman also matched his career-high of two hits. It is the second time this season he has recorded a multi-hit game.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.