KENNESAW, Ga. (May 19, 2012) – Pitching the final game of his collegiate career, senior John Long (Anderson, S.C.) went out on a high note with a complete game effort to help lead ETSU (23-32, 8-19 A-Sun) to a 5-4 season finale victory over Kennesaw State (31-23, 15-11 A-Sun) on Saturday afternoon at Stillwell Stadium.
Long (7-6) was fantastic as he earned his seventh victory of the season after allowing 10 hits and four runs on the afternoon, while striking out five and allowing just one walk. The complete game was the fifth of the season for Long and the sixth of his career. Meanwhile, Kennesaw State starter Travis Dean (3-1) was charged with his first loss of the season after giving up seven hits and five runs in five innings of work.
Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) finished 2-for-4 with his seventh home run of the season and tied a career-high with four RBI on the day. Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.), Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) and Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.) each had two hits on the day, while Green drove in the only other run of the day for the Bucs.
After Green and Scruggs led off the game with back-to-back walks, Freeman followed with a three-run home run over the right field wall to give ETSU the quick 3-0 advantage.
The Bucs tacked on another run in the second on a RBI single up the middle by Green. Senior Skyler Barnett (Johnson City, Tenn.) reached base after being hit by a pitch with two-outs in the inning and later stole second to advance into scoring position. Green then laced the 3-2 pitch right up the middle for a RBI single to give the Bucs a 4-0 lead.
Kennesaw State got on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the second when Ronnie Freeman scored on a fielder’s choice. Freeman led off the inning with a double down the left field line. Two batters later, Will Howard singled to right field to put runners on the corners with one-out. Then, Ethan Herron grounded into a RBI fielder’s choice to make the score 4-1.
ETSU regained the four-run lead with a run in the fifth on a RBI single by Freeman. With one-out in the inning, Green doubled down the right field line for his second hit of the game and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. Then with a 3-0 count, Freeman got the green light and lined a RBI single right back up the middle to give the Bucs a 5-1 lead.
Kennesaw State made the game interesting in the ninth inning when Aaron Dobbs blasted a three-run home run with two-outs to get the Owls within one. However, Long got the next batter Peyton Hart to foul out, which ended the game.
Hart, Howard and Jordan Craft each had two hits to lead the Owls, while Dobbs was 1-for-5 with the homer and three RBI.
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