February 18, 2022123456789RHE
Northern Kentucky0014000117132
Win: Zach Kirby (1-0) 4.040006
Loss: Kyle Klingenbeck (0-1) 0.127640
Treyvin Moss (NKU) 503100
Brennan Gick (NKU) 413301
Ashton King (ETSU) 423200
Seven-Run First Powers Bucs Past Norse on Opening Day
Seven-Run First Powers Bucs Past Norse on Opening Day
Friday, February 18, 2022

Bucs hop on Klingenbeck early, Kirby shines in relief

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 18, 2021) – Lucky number six.

Make it six consecutive seasons that ETSU has won opening day, downing Northern Kentucky 12-7 at Thomas Stadium.

ETSU’s offense shined behind the bats of Ashton King (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Tommy Barth (Brecksville, Ohio) as the pair combined for five of ETSU’s ten hits on the afternoon. Bryce Hodge (Knoxville, Tenn.)added a multi-hit night with a pair of singles and a walk. 

King and Barth got their first hits of the season in the first inning, both triples to the right field wall. King led off the bottom half of the game with that triple before scoring the first run of the season on a Skyler Cannady (Nicholasville, Ky.) sac fly to deep center. Barth belted his 0-2 pitch to right field to clear the bases and blow open the scoring to make it 7-0. Cannady and Barth each had three RBIs on the afternoon.

Matt Bollenbacher (Powder Springs, Ga.) got his first career nod and got through the third with just one earned run with two strikeouts before Zach Kirby (Upland, Calif) came in relief and dominated. Kirby, who led the Bucs in ERA last season, went 4.0 innings giving up four hits, no runs, walking none, and striking out six. Kirby got credit with the win to start the season.

After combining for 15 total runs in the first 4.5 innings, there were just four runs for the rest of the game, two by each squad.

The Bucs totaled ten hits and seven walks while giving up 13 hits and just two walks. ETSU went 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position while holding NKU to 3-for-15.

Pitchers of Record

  • Win: Zach Kirby 1-0
  • Loss: Kyle Klingenbeck 0-1
  • Save: N/A

Game Leaders


  • King | 3-for-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI
  • Barth | 2-for-3, 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI
  • Cannady | 1-for-4, 3 RBI
  • Kirby | 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
  • Carlson | 1.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 3 K


  • Gick | 3-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 3 RBI
  • Moss | 3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI


  • Barth and Cannady each got their first Division I hit of their career. Barth got his on his first-inning, bases-clearing triple. Cannady lifted a ball just past NKU’s shortstop in the bottom of the third, bringing in two runs in the process.
  • Kirby got his seventh career win since coming to ETSU, now boasting a career record of 7-3.
  • King, who hit .400 against the Norse last season, knocked in a team-high three hits after leading the Bucs last season with multiple-hit games (17). King posted five three-hit games last season.
  • Going back to last season, Beam extended his reached-base streak to six while Hodge and King each extended theirs to five. Hodge has hit safely his last five as well.

Record Update

  • ETSU: 1-0
  • NKU: 0-1

Up Next

The Bucs head to game two of a three game set against the Norse with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. at Thomas Stadium.

For more information on Buccaneer baseball, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball page.