March 20, 2018123456789RHE
Win: James Giambalvo (2-0) 2.020010
Loss: HEFLIN (2-1) 2.055222
Christian Bailey (ETSU) 503100
Baseball heads to Knoxville to face Tennessee
Baseball heads to Knoxville to face Tennessee
Monday, March 19, 2018

Bucs look for second straight road win over Vols Tuesday night

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 20, 2018) – The ETSU baseball team will play for the fourth time in five days tomorrow night as it hits the road to take on Tennessee at Lindsey Wilson Stadium. First pitch is now set for 5 p.m.

Depending on inclement weather expected to hit the area, start time is subject to change.

The Bucs took the first of three games this season from the Vols, winning a 10-9 thriller in Knoxville as part of the Tri-Star Classic.

Junior right-hander Daniel Sweeney (Johnson City, Tenn.) is expected take the mound for ETSU, making his second start and fourth appearance. He will face Tennessee’s Sean Hunley, who is 3-0 in four starts.


Game Day Central

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About the Bucs

The ETSU pitching staff picked up three straight quality starts last weekend against William & Mary, taking one of three from the Tribe. All three games were won by one-run margins and involved each team scoring three runs or less.

In the opener last Friday, ETSU was shut out for the first time since 2016 in a 1-0 loss. Junior pitcher Micah Kaczor (Tampa, Fla.) went 6.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.

The Blue and Gold took the middle game, tying the series with a 3-2 victory in 10 innings. The game marked ETSU first extra inning game this season, as freshman Brandon Parrott (Seymour, Tenn.) hit a go-ahead RBI single in the 10th, entering as a pinch hitter for his fourth collegiate at-bat.

Senior Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) pitched Game Two for ETSU, going a season-high 8.0 innings with 104 pitches. The wily veteran scattered four hits with no earned runs (two unearned) while striking out five and walking one.

Junior James Giambalvo (Alhambra, Calif.) took over for Simpler in the final two innings, keeping the Tribe off the scoreboard while limiting the offense to two hits. For his efforts, Giambalvo picked up his first career win for ETSU.

The Tribe edged ETSU in the rubber match in walk-off fashion, scoring the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to win, 3-2. Russell Koesters (Kingsport, Tenn.) dealt six full innings, earning his first career quality start allowing just one run on four hits.


Quick Facts

  • ETSU is outscoring opponents 16-0 in sixth innings this season.
  • Senior Chris Cook had an impressive 29-game reached base streak snap last weekend in the series finale — a streak that dated back to the last 14 games of 2017.
  • Aaron Maher had a similar streak snap in Game One, reaching in 24 straight games. He’s now reached in 26 of his last 27 games dating back to 2017.
  • ETSU ranks 32nd in strikeouts per nine inning with a mark of 9.8. The Bucs pitching staff has ranked in the top 20 in this stat all season prior to this week, ranking as high as second in the nation at 14.8.
  • ETSU holds an 8-0 record when scoring first.
  • The Bucs are 5-0 when scoring in the first inning.
  • The Blue and Gold are 6-1 when not playing the day before and are 5-1 in Friday games.
  • Likewise, ETSU holds an 8-0 record when leading through six innings and 6-0 when leading through eight.


About Tennessee

The Vols are 13-8 on the season, winning six of their last seven following the Tri-Star Classic tournament March 2-4. Tennessee kicked off conference play last weekend, defeating Ole Miss 8-6 in Game One to extend a five-game win streak. Ole Miss took the final two games (7-1, 5-0).

Tennessee is expected to send freshman righty Sean Hunley to the mound against the Bucs. Hunley has a team-low and Southeastern Conference-low 0.75 ERA in 24.0 innings and four starts, holding a 3-0 record. His 0.75 ERA ranks 13th in all of Division I.

Power bats Andre Lipcius and Benito Santiago lead the Volunteer offense, as Lipcius went 3-for-four against ETSU with two homers. He leads the team with 27 hits and 21 RBI.

Santiago leads the Vols with a .342 batting average and leads the SEC in doubles with 10. His doubles mark also ranks ninth nationally, while ETSU’s Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) ranks just behind him with nine two-baggers.


Series History

The Vols lead the all time series 64-18.

The last meeting went in favor of ETSU, as the Bucs put together a four-run ninth inning after trailing 7-6 to gain a 10-7 lead late. Heading into the bottom half, closer Aaron Maher moved to the mound, allowing a two-run homer before retiring the final outs to earn the save.

In the 10-9 win March 2, Chris Cook went 4-for-6 with an RBI, while Jackson Greer (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Sean Kearney (Powell, Tenn.) each represented their hometown with one two-RBI hits each. Caleb Longley (Cleveland, Tenn.) touched home for three of the 10 runs.

Last season, the Bucs and Vols faced off three times — once in Johnson City, once in Knoxville and once again at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tennessee for the home-away-neutral three game series. The Bucs took Game One 10-2 at Thomas Stadium before UT won 8-1 and 9-2 in Knoxville and Kodak, respectively.


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