March 26, 2023123456789RHE
Win: Nathanial Tate (3-1) 6.114101015
Loss: Blake Bortak (0-1) 1.042200
Kaden Dreier (SAM) 534101
Nick Iannantone (ETSU) 554301
Ashton King (ETSU) 544000
Bucs salvage series with offensive showcase, 17-12
Bucs salvage series with offensive showcase, 17-12
Sunday, March 26, 2023

Iannantone nearly hits for cycle; Bucs score season-high 17 runs

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 26, 2023) – Sunday afternoons continued to be kind to the ETSU baseball team this weekend, as the Buccaneers unleashed two days of frustration with a 17-12 victory over Samford at Thomas Stadium.

Heading into Sunday’s game behind 2-0 in the series, the Bucs were sailing dangerous waters with Samford in position for the sweep ahead 8-2 in the fourth inning. Instead, ETSU rattled off a six-run inning and went on to score eight unanswered runs to take the lead midway through. Ahead 12-10 heading into the stretch, the Bucs added insurance in the form of five late runs and completed a much-needed win.

With today’s victory, ETSU improves to a 6-0 record in Sunday games this season.

Despite a shaky start on the mound, sure-handed fifth-year senior Nathanial Tate (Manchester, Tenn.) never gave up and threw over 100 pitches over 6.1 innings. Despite trailing 8-2 at one point, Tate allowed his team to take the lead later in the game and held on for the win. Meanwhile, Cade Carlson (Carmel, Ind.) came on in relief in a tight game and got an out in the seventh. Playing the lefty matchup, Derek McCarley (Seymour, Tenn.) took it from there by getting the final out of the frame and staying in two more innings for the save.

As far as offense, ETSU got it from numerous players. Among those was Nick Iannantone (Plainfield, Ill.) with a 4-for-5 day, scoring five runs and hitting a homer, a triple and two doubles. His last hit was a double in the gap, where instead of stopping at first base to complete the cycle, he selflessly extended it to put himself in scoring position and later score an insurance run. Iannantone is the first ETSU player to score five runs in a game since Jeremy Taylor did so in 2016 against VMI. He also would have been the first player to hit for the cycle at ETSU since Bo Reeder in 2009.

Iannantone was not the only player to have a four-hit day. Shortstop Ashton King (Knoxville, Tenn.) also had four hits on the day — two of which were doubles — and came around to score four times. A couple of mainstays at the top of the order — Tommy Barth (Brecksville, Ohio) and Garett Wallace (Sanford, Fla.) — added two hits apiece with Wallace doubling and Barth tripling.

Barth and Iannantone both had three-RBI days — but were not the only ones. Catcher Marshall Awtry (Wilmington, Del.) had a two-run homer and a bases loaded walk for three RBIs, while Skyler Cannady (Nicholasville, Ky.) came in as a pinch hitter in the fourth and hit a sac fly, then followed that up with an RBI single and a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch.

The other two players that recorded a hit today for ETSU also had a big hand in the win. One of those was second baseman Noah Gent (Corryton, Tenn.) who had an RBI single late in the game and also had the go-ahead sacrifice fly to make it 9-8 in the fifth inning. The other was freshman Cody Miller (Rocky Point, N.Y.) who had a bunt single early in the game, but also made two back-to-back defensive plays late in the game that perhaps saved ETSU some runs.

ETSU had a season-high 17 runs in the contest, passing the 15 runs in the season opener against Toledo for most runs scored in a game this season. ETSU also had season-highs in doubles (5), triples (2), total bases (31) and sac flies (3). Tate’s 110 pitches and 6.1 innings pitched marked the most pitches and longest outing of the season for an ETSU pitcher.



Win – Nathanial Tate (3-1)

Loss – Blake Bortak (0-1)

Save – Derek McCarley (2)



ETSU: 11-11, 1-2 SoCon

Samford: 13-11, 2-1 SoCon



The Bucs will break from conference play this week with a midweek game at Radford on Tuesday, March 28 at 6 p.m. This weekend, ETSU will be at home to host Seton Hall, beginning Friday, March 31 at 5 p.m. 

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