May 12, 2023123456789RHE
Win: Nathanial Tate (7-4) 9.0442311
Loss: Will Riley (3-4) 0.122211
Cameron Sisneros (ETSU) 423010
Ty Swaim (VMI) 401000
Cole Garrett (VMI) 401100
Zac Morris (VMI) 411201
Jimmy Koza (VMI) 411000
Tate goes distance; Bucs win series opener at VMI
Tate goes distance; Bucs win series opener at VMI
Friday, May 12, 2023

Pennucci wins 150th game as ETSU head coach 

LEXINGTON, Va. (May 12, 2023) – Another complete game performance by Nathanial Tate (Manchester, Tenn.) and timely scoring by the Buccaneer bats allowed ETSU baseball to begin an important three-game series at VMI with a 7-4 win on Friday at Gray-Minor Stadium in Lexington.

Tate finished his third complete game of the season, allowing four runs — two earned — on just four hits with three walks and 11 strikeouts. The 11 strikeouts are his second-highest total of the season and matches a prior career high set against VMI in 2021.

Over his five-year career, Tate has made six appearances against the Keydets. Over that time, he’s thrown 24.1 innings with just five earned runs allowed, while totaling 33 strikeouts to just eight walks. His career ERA vs. VMI now sits at an impressive 1.87 figure.

The Bucs currently have the longest Southern Conference win streak with three straight victories over league opponents, moving closer to both VMI, UNCG and Wofford in the standings. ETSU sits just two games back of third place with a 7-9 record, while VMI drops to 8-10.

Tonight’s game marked the 150th win for ETSU head coach Joe Pennucci. In his sixth season, Pennucci owns a career record of 150-120. His teams have won at least 11 conference games each season and are still in play to do so again with seven wins and five games remaining.

The Keydets took a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a pair of unearned runs on two defensive miscues, but ETSU erased that lead with two runs in the fifth to tie it. The inning started with a solo homer by Noah Gent (Corryton, Tenn.) and continued with a two-out RBI single by Nick Iannantone (Plainfield, Ill.) to bring in Ryan McCarthy (Knoxville, Tenn.) for the tying run. McCarthy got in scoring position with a one-out double.

After Tate retired the side in the fifth with back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout, the Blue & Gold took the lead next half inning. Swinging a hot bat as of late, reigning SoCon Player of the Week and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week honoree Cameron Sisneros (Littleton, Colo.) hit a leadoff double, then was followed by Tommy Barth (Brecksville, Ohio) with a hit-by-pitch to put runners on first and second.

This brought Gent back to the plate, who hit a chopper into left field to score Sisneros for the lead. Later in the inning, Justin Hanvey (Purcellville, Va.) came to the plate and hit a two-out single to score Gent to make it 4-2. The next two innings did not warrant any runs, but ETSU tacked on three more with a late ninth inning showing.

After leadoff man Cody Miller (Rocky Point, N.Y.) hit a leadoff single, both Garett Wallace (Sanford, Fla.)

and Sisneros moved station to station to load the bags with one out. Subbing in for Barth in the seventh inning, Skyler Cannady (Nicholasville, Ky.) landed a double in the gap to triple the lead. Gent came up in the next at-bat and drove in his third run of the day with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.

Tate trotted back out for the ninth and stumbled early with a hit batter and a two-run homer allowed to make it a three-run game, but recovered nicely with back-to-back strikeouts and a flyout to close the game and clinch the complete game. Tate improved to a 7-4 record with the 7-4 victory, throwing 77.2 innings this season with a team-high 84 strikeouts.

Gent led the Bucs with three RBI on two hits, while Sisneros continued his hot streak with a 3-for-4 day. Seven other Bucs added a hit to combine for 12 hits as a team. The Bucs batted 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, while limiting VMI to just four hits, 1-3 with runners in scoring position and five runners stranded.



Win – Nathanial Tate (7-4)

Loss – Will Riley (3-4)

Save – None



ETSU: 22-25, 7-9

VMI: 24-25, 8-10



The Bucs will look to win the series and jump VMI in the SoCon standings with a key game tomorrow at 2 p.m.

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