JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 6, 2023) – The hits came early and often for both teams on Thursday evening at Thomas Stadium, but ETSU came up on the wrong end of an 11-6 loss to open a three-game series against the Wofford Terriers.
The two teams combined for 37 hits — 21 for Wofford and 16 for ETSU. On that same note, both teams left 12 runners on base as both pitching staffs worked their way out of some tight jams throughout the contest. There were no home runs for either team, but eight multi-base hits.
The Bucs led 2-1 after three innings, but the Terries worked their way into the lead by scattering 10 runs over the next six innings. ETSU remained in striking distance with one run in each of the final four innings, but any threat of a comeback rally was extinguished in the late innings.
In a strong day at the plate, all nine starters recorded at least one hit on the day. Leading the Bucs was none other than Nick Iannantone (Plainfield, Ill.) with a 3-for-3 day, including two doubles and a single. Leading the SoCon and ranking fifth in the nation in batting average heading into the weekend, today’s game moved his batting average up from .460 to .485. Iannantone also scored three times on Thursday.
Five Buccaneers had two-hit days, including reigning Golden Spikes Performance of the Week winner Ashton King (Knoxville, Tenn.) with a 2-for-4 day with 2 RBIs. Joining Iannantone with a multi-base hit on the day was leadoff man Tommy Barth (Brecksville, Ohio) with a triple.
Wofford took an early 1-0 lead, but the Bucs came back with a couple of runs in the second inning as Garett Wallace (Sanford, Fla.) and Iannantone had back-to-back hits to put runners in scoring position. King drove them both home with nobody out to make it 2-1.
The Terriers made it 3-2 in the fourth with a two-RBI single, but starting pitcher Landon Smiddy (Knoxville, Tenn.) pitched his way out of a tight spot to strand the bases loaded. The Bucs threatened again the next half inning with a leadoff double by Iannantone, but couldn’t get him home.
Wofford added to its lead and made it 8-2 in the sixth, but the Bucs never gave up. A walk to Iannantone, a hit by pitch taken by King and a single by Skyler Cannady (Nicholasville, Ky.) loaded the bases with two outs. This allowed Noah Gent to hit an RBI single to bring home one, but Wofford tight-roped out of the jam. The seventh brought home another run for each team, as Wallace singled in Cody Miller (Rocky Point, N.Y.) in the bottom half. Another ETSU rally ended with the bases juiced.
Gent and Ryan McCarthy (Knoxville, Tenn.) started the eighth with back-to-back singles, but two good defensive plays by Wofford limited the threat. ETSU was able to tack on another run before the inning ended, as Cameron Sisneros (Littleton, Colo.) brought in Gent with a single to center field.
Wofford got a pair of insurance runs in the ninth and had to stop another bases loaded threat in the bottom of the ninth as Iannantone, King and Cannady had three straight singles to start the inning. The Terriers took the wind out of the crowd with a tough double play and a groundout to end the game.
PITCHERS OF RECORD
Win – Matthew Marchal (5-1)
Loss – Landon Smiddy (3-5)
Save – Luke Stephens (2)
ETSU: 13-14, 1-3 SoCon
Wofford: 22-7, 3-1 SoCon
Tomorrow’s game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start.