April 06, 2018123456789RHE
Win: Corey Johnston (2-0) 1.100020
Loss: Micah Kaczor (2-3) 6.177725
Will Malbon (VMI) 433502
Chris Cook (ETSU) 423110
April 08, 2018123456789RHE
Win: Ryan Simpler (3-3) 7.074318
Loss: Derek Tremblay (1-2) 3.022113
Matt Pita (VMI) 412010
Jake Huggins (VMI) 412000
Chris Cook (ETSU) 212100
Caleb Longley (ETSU) 312200
April 08, 2018123456789RHE
Win: Russell Koesters (2-0) 6.042235
Loss: Staats (3-2) 4.154322
Jaye (VMI) 502100
Huggins (VMI) 312110
Fleischer (VMI) 402000
Aaron Maher (ETSU) 512101
Sean Kearney (ETSU) 312200
Preview: Weather alters weekend series with VMI
Preview: Weather alters weekend series with VMI
Thursday, April 5, 2018

Bucs and Keydets set to play Friday at Noon, more changes could follow

 JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 5, 2018) – Inclement weather has forced at least one change to ETSU baseball’s weekend series against VMI. The series opener tomorrow will now start at noon inside Thomas Stadium.

Start times for Saturday and Sunday will remain at 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. for now, but stay tuned for possible changes.

The Bucs have won seven games in a row against VMI and nine of the last 10 since rejoining the SoCon in 2015.


Game Day Central

All three games will be broadcasted on the SoCon Digital Network with play-by-play announcer Mike Gallagher on the call. Live stats will also be available for the contests.

Game One:      Fri. April 6 at noon                  RHP Josh Winder (1-4, 5.67 ERA) vs. RHP Micah Kaczor (2-2, 4.43 ERA)

Stats:   https://tinyurl.com/yanygzn8               Video: https://tinyurl.com/y72yb5sd

Game Two:      Sat. April 7 at 2 p.m.               RHP Zak Kent (3-3, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Simpler (2-3, 5.01 ERA)

Stats:   https://tinyurl.com/y8tc6ftx                 Video: https://tinyurl.com/y7vtals5

Game Three:   Sun. April 8 at 1 p.m.              LHP Kyle Staats (1-1, 4.78 ERA) vs. RHP Russell Koesters (1-0, 3.99 ERA)

Stats:   https://tinyurl.com/y7speyox               Video: https://tinyurl.com/yb8pwnyv


About the Bucs

ETSU is 15-10 this season and are ranked 83rd out of 297 teams in the NCAA national RPI rankings this week — only Mercer (31) and ETSU cracked the Top 100 from the SoCon.

After last night’s 9-8 win over Radford, ETSU has five starters batting at least .300 and seven starters batting above .250.

Senior Caleb Longley (Cleveland, Tenn.) leads the Bucs offense after his 4-for-5 performance last night, slashing .337/.427/.651 for the season. The designated hitter also leads ETSU with five homers and is tied for a team-high nine doubles.

Fellow senior Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) also has nine doubles for the Bucs and leads the team with 22 RBI, solidifying his place in the cleanup spot.

Bailey also flashes a solid glove, capping last night’s win over Radford by catching a low liner and tagging first for a game-ending double play. With runners on first and second and nobody out, Bailey potentially saved the game from ending in a walk-off.

Making a recent move to the three-hole, senior shortstop Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) homered last night and now has three on the season. He, Bailey and new leadoff man Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) each have 32 hits to lead ETSU.

Freshman Ben Jackson (Guyton, Ga.) has started 22 games as a catcher/outfielder while appearing in 24, sporting a .422 on-base percentage while batting .301 for the season. Fellow rookie David Beam (Knoxville, Tenn.) had two steals last night and is batting .289 as a recent addition to the full-time starting lineup.

On the mound, Friday starter Micah Kaczor (Tampa, Fla.) continues to lead the team with 48 strikeouts, while senior veteran Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) has 46 and leads the team with 41.1 innings pitched.

Senior Russell Koesters (Kingsport, Tenn.) perhaps has seen the most success the last few weeks on the bump. In conference play against Samford and Mercer, Koesters tossed a combined 10.1 innings as the starter, coming out with a 1.74 ERA. He held Mercer’s explosive offense to one earned run through six full innings.

Out of the pen, junior James Giambalvo (Alhambra, Calif.) and senior Drew Korzybski (Knoxville, Tenn.) have proven to be reliable arms.

Despite allowing five unearned runs in his last outing against Mercer, Giambalvo continues to hold an impressive 1.93 ERA through 18.2 innings as ETSU’s closer. He also leads the team with three saves, picking up his third last night in the 9-8 win.

Korzybski has two wins on the season and boasts a 2,88 ERA through 25.0 innings — the most innings among ETSU relievers. The Knoxville native had his career-best outing against Samford to open conference play two weeks ago, tossing 4.0 scoreless innings with just two hits allowed.

A new addition to the bullpen is sophomore Brock Beeler (Knoxville, Tenn.). The former ETSU football player made his first career pitching appearances last week and also appeared against Radford last night, tossing 2.2 no-hit innings. Coming in against Mercer with one on and nobody out, Beeler induced a double play before striking out the final out.

Sophomore Carter Linton (Kingsport, Tenn.) has seen midweek action out of the pen this season, picking up his first career win at ETSU with 1.1 flawless late innings against Radford last night. He transfer holds a 3.86 ERA.


Series History vs. VMI

ETSU has won its last seven contests with the Keydets, including back-to-back sweeps the last two seasons and a 12-11 walk-off win in last season’s SoCon tournament. ETSU has also won nine of the last ten over VMI since rejoining the conference in 2015.

The last meeting between the two came in a SoCon elimination game, as ETSU survived with a 12-11 victory with three late runs in the bottom of the ninth. In that game, Aaron Maher hit a walk-off single to drive in Chris Cook for the winning run.

ETSU also took two of three in 2015 before the sweeping the Keydets in Lexington and Johnson City the following two seasons.

In the all-time series, ETSU leads 52-41. Prior to 2015, the two squads last faced off in 2003 with ETSU taking two of three.


Quick Facts

  • ETSU is outscoring opponents 27-3 in sixth innings this season.
  • Senior Chris Cook had an impressive 29-game reached base streak snap a few weeks ago — a streak that dated back to the last 14 games of 2017.
  • Aaron Maher had a similar streak snap in Game One against William & Mary, reaching in 24 straight games. He’s now reached in 32 of his last 36 games dating back to 2017.
  • Speaking of Cook and Maher, ETSU shook up the lineup last Sunday against Samford. Cook batted third for the first time in his five-year ETSU career, while Maher led off for the first time in his four years. This change has stuck for the last six games.
  • ETSU holds an 12-0 record when scoring first.
  • The Bucs are 7-0 when scoring at least one run in the first inning.
  • The Blue and Gold are 10-2 when not playing the day before and are 6-2 in Friday games.
  • Likewise, ETSU holds an 11-1 record when leading through six innings and are 11-1 when leading through eight.
  • Through 25 games, ETSU is 12-1 when outhitting their opponents. 
  • Nine is the magic number, as ETSU is 7-0 when scoring at least nine runs, including last night’s win over Radford.


About VMI

The Keydets are 13-14 on the season and own early signature wins over No. 19 South Carolina and No. 15 Virginia. VMI is also 3-3 in SoCon play, winning two of three against The Citadel last week while avoiding the sweep with a series finale win over UNCG to open conference play.

Two SoCon preseason first-teamers this season bolster the Keydets on each side on the baseball, as junior outfielder Matt Pita and junior ace Josh Winder each earned a spot.

Pita is the clear catalyst for the VMI, leading the team with 122 at-bats and an impressive .369 batting average. He leads the conference with 14 doubles and is second with seven homers. Pita is fourth in the conference with a .672 slugging percentage.

The favorite to win SoCon Pitcher of the Year in the preseason poll, Winder is currently 1-4 with a 5.67 ERA through 39.2 innings and seven starts. Last season, Winder led the SoCon with 107.2 innings tossed, finishing with a 3.59 ERA and 112 strikeouts — second most in the conference.

Two other hitters in the VMI lineup are batting over .300 in senior catcher Peyton Maddox and senior outfielder Matt Dunleavy. Maddox has 25 RBI so far while batting .337, while Dunleavy follows batting .326 with a team-high .470 on-base percentage.


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