February 24, 2018123456789RHE
Win: DYE (1-0) 7.060015
Loss: Ryan Simpler (1-1) 7.082209
Aaron Maher (ETSU(1)) 401000
Christian Bailey (ETSU(1)) 301010
Caleb Longley (ETSU(1)) 401000
Cullen Smith (ETSU(1)) 301000
Ethan Rice (ETSU(1)) 111000
Ben Jackson (ETSU(1)) 301000
Hunter Parker (ETSU(1)) 401000
Bucs fall in pitching duel with Florida Gulf Coast
Bucs fall in pitching duel with Florida Gulf Coast
Saturday, February 24, 2018

Simpler throws six scoreless; Eagles take lead late in 6-1 decision 

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2018) – A pitcher’s duel took place one day after an offensive explosion, as Florida Gulf Coast score in the final two innings to defeat ETSU 6-1 in Fort Myers, Fla. Saturday afternoon.

The ETSU loss evens up the series with the rubber match set for tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.

Senior Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) took the bump for ETSU, throwing six scoreless innings in an offensive struggle for both sides. Despite the strong start, Simpler picked up his first loss of the year, allowing two runs in the seventh to give FGCU the lead for good.

Back-to-back two-out RBI hits in the bottom of the seventh by Christian Proffitt and Marc Coffers allowed the Eagles to gain the lead, but Simpler finished the inning with a groundout.

Simpler finished the day with 7.0 innings, allowing two runs off eight hits. He carbon-copied last week’s impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio with nine K’s and zero walks.

After Simpler’s spectacular outing, senior Logan Gentry (Kingsport, Tenn.) made his first appearance of the season in the eighth, inheriting a 2-0 deficit. FGCU’s dynamic offense would show up late and add four insurance runs.

After scoring six unanswered the night before, the Bucs would need to do so again. In that effort, ETSU used three pinch hitters in the ninth, including Ethan Rice (Erwin, Tenn.) who led off the inning with the team’s first triple of the season.

A pinch-hitting Brock Beeler (Knoxville, Tenn.) would make his first appearance of the year, driving in Rice with a grounder to short, plating ETSU’s lone run. Local product Sam Stewart (Kingsport, Tenn.) also made his first appearance this season, reaching on a walk. After Stewart advanced into scoring position on a wild pitch, FGCU earned the final two outs.

A couple of opportunities arose for ETSU, as the first inning saw leadoff hitter Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) and second hitter Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) each in scoring position before FGCU tightroped out of the jam.

One double each for Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Cullen Smith (Lebanon, Tenn.) also netted runners in scoring position, but the Buccaneer bats could not score the runs.

ETSU falls to 3-2 on the season and will look to win its second straight series, as the rubber match takes place Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. inside Swanson Stadium.

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