May 03, 201812345678910RHE
The Citadel01130000016122
Win: Jordan Buster (4-3) 3.210014
Loss: Drew Korzybski (2-3) 5.061114
Ryan McCarthy (CIT) 423211
Cullen Smith (ETSU) 413110
May 04, 2018123456789RHE
The Citadel00034104113141
Win: Thomas Byelick (2-6) 4.164444
Loss: Ryan Simpler (5-5) 5.2108627
Bryce Leasure (CIT) 523210
Cullen Smith (ETSU) 502300
David Beam (ETSU) 402100
May 06, 2018123456789RHE
The Citadel100102010580
Win: Russell Koesters (3-2) 4.253322
Loss: Jonathan Sabo (1-3) 3.055522
Bryce Leasure (CIT) 512200
Clay Martin (CIT) 322010
Chris Cook (ETSU) 423210
Aaron Maher (ETSU) 413410
Baseball hosts The Citadel in SoCon showdown
Baseball hosts The Citadel in SoCon showdown
Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bucs ride four-game win streak into this weekend’s conference series

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 2, 2018) – Coming off its first conference sweep of the season at Western Carolina last weekend, the ETSU baseball team hopes to duplicate those efforts against The Citadel, beginning Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. inside Thomas Stadium.

With Saturday’s graduation ceremonies at ETSU, this weekend’s series will be played Thursday and Friday, May 3 and 4 at 6:30 p.m. each night. The series finale will follow two days later on Sunday, May 6 at 1 p.m.

This weekend’s contest will mark the return of former ETSU skipper Tony Skole, who returned to his alma mater this season after 18 years with the Bucs. He will stand in the visiting dugout and lead The Citadel against first year Buccaneer head coach Joe Pennucci.


Game Day Central

Thursday and Friday’s games will be shown via the SoCon Digital Network with play-by-play announcer Mike Gallagher on the call alongside color analyst Bruce Tranbarger.

Sunday’s game will not be streamed, as the Buccaneer Sports Network will cover ETSU softball’s regular season finale vs. Western Carolina.

Live stats will be available for every game this weekend.


Probable Starters

Game 1: RHP Dylan Spence (3-4, 3.62 ERA) vs. RHP Micah Kaczor (4-4, 4.79 ERA)

Game 2: RHP Thomas Byelick (1-6, 4.28 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Simpler (5-4, 5.37 ERA)

Game 3: RHP Johnathan Sabo (1-2, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP Russell Koesters (2-2, 5.63 ERA)


About the Bucs

With its back against the wall at a 19-17 record, ETSU battled its way to four wins this past week. After a strong pitching performance lead the Bucs to a 2-0 midweek win over Radford, the offense took over with double digit scoring each game this weekend at Western Carolina en route to its first sweep of the SoCon season.

With the 11-4, 14-12 and 11-8 wins, ETSU scored 10 or more runs in three consecutive games for the first time since 2010.

The Bucs ride a four game win streak and have four hitters batting above .300, lead by local senior prodigies Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) at .346 and Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) at .331 for the season. Cook scored his 200th career run against Western Carolina (2nd all-time) and also moved into third on the career hit list with 286 hits.

Senior Caleb Longley (Cleveland, Tenn.) is not far behind them with a .317 average. Longley owns the best power numbers for ETSU this season with a conference-leading .655 slugging percentage to go along with 10 homers. He is tied with Bailey for a team-high 39 RBI and tied with Cook for a team-high 15 doubles.

Freshman Ben Jackson (Guyton, Ga.) is enjoying a stellar rookie year, batting .308 on the season in 34 starts and 37 appearances. Jackson hit 9-for-17 (.529) last week to lead ETSU, including a solo homer in the ninth inning of a 13-12 game against Western Carolina.

Pitching wise, Micah Kaczor (Tampa, Fla.) leads the starters with a 4.79 ERA and is holding batters to a .247 batting average. Senior Ryan Simpler (Lewes, Del.) continues to hold a solid strikeout-to-walk ratio at 70 punchouts to just nine walks.

In the bullpen, ETSU’s most steady arm continues to be closer James Giambalvo (Alhambra, Calif.). The junior transfer has a 2.63 ERA and ranks second on the team with 5 saves behind Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.).

Maher continues to be a dual threat for the Bucs, leading the way with six saves in as many attempts. Position wise, the usual right fielder bats .281 and is second on the team with 33 runs and six homers.


Quick Facts

  • ETSU is outscoring opponents 40-6 in sixth innings this season.
  • Senior Chris Cook has hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games, riding a 10 game hit streak and 19-game on base streak into the weekend.
  • Other hitting streaks: Ben Jackson (8), Caleb Longley (7), Jackson Greer (4)
  • Reached base streaks: Cook (19), Jackson (17), Cullen Smith (14), Hunter Parker (9), Longley (7), Maher (6), Greer (5), David Beam (5)
  • Senior Chris Cook is now five hits away from moving into second place on the ETSU career hits list, as he moved into third this weekend past Andrew Green with No. 283. He currently has 286 with at least 12 games remaining for ETSU. The all-time record is 307 held by Paul Hoilman.
  • ETSU holds a 18-1 record when scoring first.
  • The Bucs are 12-0 when scoring at least one run in the first inning and are also 11-0 when leading after the first inning.
  • The Bucs are 16-0 when leading after the fifth inning, including three games this weekend.
  • Through 40 games, ETSU is 16-1 when outhitting their opponents.
  • Nine is the magic number, as ETSU is 11-0 when scoring at least nine runs and 8-0 when scoring 10.


About The Citadel

The Bulldogs are 15-27 on the season and are 4-11 in SoCon play. Charleston has been the locale for most of The Citadel’s contests, as 31 of the team’s 42 games have been played at home.

Despite a 3-8 record on the road, The Citadel knocked off Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina in Columbia with a 4-3 win. The Bulldogs also own a conference series win over Western Carolina and own a single win over VMI and Furman this season.

Two players are hitting above .300 for The Citadel, as senior shortstop William Kinney leads the way hitting .323 with a team-high 51 hits, six homers and 31 runs batted in. Junior outfielder Taylor Cothran sits behind him with a .302 average.

A threat on the base paths for the Bulldogs is Jeffery Brown, who currently has 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts. Brown is hitting .290 for the season with a .333 on-base percentage.

On the mound, Dylan Spence has proven to be the true ace. The junior righty is tossing a 3.62 ERA this season in 11 starts and 72 full innings, including one complete game.


Series History vs. The Citadel

The Citadel leads the all-time series 57-33.

Last season, the Bulldogs took the first two games of the series in Charleston before ETSU ended on a high note and took a 10-9 victory in extra innings.

In that game — which was the last meeting — Citadel rattled off a five run eighth inning to put the Bucs behind 8-7. With a 9-9 game through regulation, ETSU took the tenth inning lead. Logan Gentry then played the hero, tossing a perfect inning to seal the win.

The last time both teams faced off in Johnson City, ETSU earned the sweep with three wins, scoring double digit runs in each contest. Later that season, ETSU eliminated the Bulldogs from the SoCon tournament in the elimination round with a 4-2 win.

This will be the first meeting between the schools since Tony Skole left ETSU to return to his alma mater, as he will coach The Citadel in the visiting dugout after 18 years on the home side.

The two sides have faced off at least once each year since the 2013 season with two single game contests prior to ETSU’s return to the Southern Conference in 2015. In that span, The Citadel holds a 10-6 edge.


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