JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 4, 2012) – Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) broke a 1-1 tie by driving in freshman Chris Riopedre (Cooper City, Fla.) with an RBI single in the eighth inning and the ETSU (6-3) pitching staff allowed just four hits and one run as the Bucs claimed the series with a 2-1 victory over Indiana (3-6) on Sunday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.
Sophomore Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) started on the mound for the Bucs and went five innings with just one hit and one run, while striking out five. Meanwhile, Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) and Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) combined to pitch four innings of scoreless relief. Doane (1-1) earned his first victory of the season after allowing just an infield single over two innings of work, while striking out four.
Freeman also had a strong day at the plate as he finished 3-for-4 to raise his batting average to a team-best .424. Niesman was 2-for-4 with the only two RBIs of the day for the Bucs.
“It was a big win for our guys, because we constantly stress the importance of playing well and winning on Sundays and now two weeks in a row we have done that,” said ETSU head coach Tony Skole. “It was a big win for us and it was a hard fought game and a hard fought series. I’m very proud of Jake Long – he didn’t have his best stuff, but he hung in there and kept us in the ballgame and the bullpen of Freeman and Doane did an outstanding job. We also played defense today so I’m really proud of our guys from a defense and pitching standpoint.”
Indiana got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Chad Clark roped an RBI single into left centerfield to score Danny Sader from second. Sader got on base with a one-out walk and advanced to second after Will Nolden was hit by a pitch.
The Bucs answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning as Niesman laced a one-out single to left field – scoring Doane from second. Doane led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.).
The score remained 1-1 until the Bucs broke the tie with a run in the eighth inning. The inning got started with a line drive single to left field by Riopedre for his first collegiate hit. Doane dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt that advanced Riopedre to second. Then, with two outs in the inning, Niesman drove in Riopedre with an RBI single through the left side to give the Bucs their first lead of the contest.
After Dustin DeMuth led off the ninth with an infield single, Doane retired the next three batters in order to clinch the win for the Bucs.
Chad Martin (0-2) was charged with the loss after going 1.2 innings and allowing two hits and one run. Clark led the Hoosiers at the plate as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
ETSU will hit the road for the first time this season as the Bucs travel to Cullowhee, N.C. to face Western Carolina on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.
- A seventh inning single extended Matthew Scruggs’ hitting streak to nine straight games to start the season.
- Matthew Scruggs and Dylan Pratt have now reached base in each of the nine games this season.
- In addition to Chris Riopedre getting his first career collegiate hit, freshman Jordan Sanford also got his first collegiate hit after a fourth inning single.
- With his three hits on Sunday, Clinton Freeman recorded his team leading fifth multiple hit game on the season.
- ETSU now moves to a perfect 6-0 on the season when holding its opponents to five or fewer runs.
- The Bucs now lead the all-time series against Indiana 4-2. ETSU also won a three-game series against the Hoosiers in 2002.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.