May 19, 2023123456789RHE
Win: Jake Wolf (4-2) 1.200011
Loss: Landon Smiddy (3-7) 2.133313
Kennedy Jones (UNCG) 523101
Zack Budzik (UNCG) 423000
Ryan McCarthy (ETSU) 523100
Spartans rally past Bucs in ninth inning to tie series
Spartans rally past Bucs in ninth inning to tie series
Friday, May 19, 2023

Regular season finale, rubber match set for Saturday at 10 a.m.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 19, 2023) – In what started as a low-scoring baseball game through six innings, both ETSU and UNC Greensboro used late rallies to surge ahead, but in the end, the Spartans would prevail with a 6-5 win over the Bucs in a Friday thriller at Thomas Stadium in Johnson City.

The Spartans tallied singular runs in the second, fifth and sixth innings to take a 3-0 lead, but the Buccaneers woke up the bats after the seventh inning stretch and tacked on five runs over the next two frames to take a 5-3 lead. Unfortunately for the home team and its fans, the visitors from across the state line scored three runs in the ninth to snatch back the lead and tie the series.

With ETSU winning yesterday’s game and UNCG winning today, the series is now even at 1-1 and will be decided tomorrow with a new start time of 10 a.m. Both teams have a 9-11 record in conference play and sit in a three-way tie with VMI for fourth place in the Southern Conference standings.

The winner of tomorrow’s game at Thomas Stadium will lock down the fourth seed for the upcoming 2023 SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases, meaning an automatic bye from the Day 1 single elimination portion of the tournament. The top four seeds automatically advance to the double elimination rounds starting on Day 2. The bottom four teams will play an elimination game on Day 1 for a chance to advance to the double elimination portion. For more information, click here.

Starting for perhaps the final time at Thomas Stadium, fifth-year senior Colby Stuart (Elon, N.C.) put up a valiant effort on the mound with a 6.0 inning quality start. The lefty gave up just three runs on six hits, while recording two walks and three strikeouts.

Opposite of Stuart was UNCG’s Jay Miller, who did not allow any runs on four hits, but got into some trouble with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. The Spartans went to Luke Thomas with a 2-0 lead after 4.2 innings, and Thomas induced a groundout to end the ETSU threat.

This would not be the only time ETSU put the pressure on. After UNCG added one more in the sixth with an RBI groundout, the Bucs came back up in the seventh inning and had back-to-back leadoff singles from Skyler Cannady (Nicholasville, Ky.) and Ryan McCarthy (Knoxville, Tenn.), a sac bunt from Cody Miller (Rocky Point, N.Y.) and a walk by Nick Iannantone (Plainsville, Ill.) to load the bases.

With two outs, the ever-dangerous Cameron Sisneros (Littleton, Colo.) stepped in. Sisneros — who was intentionally walked two other times today — made the pitcher pay with a ride to deep centerfield. The ball bounced off the fence and scored three runners for a bases-clearing double to tie the game.

In the eighth inning, ETSU took its first lead of the game with a pair of singles by Knoxville natives Ashton King (Knoxville, Tenn.) and McCarthy. McCarthy’s single officially gave ETSU the lead, while Miller followed him with his own RBI hit to make it 5-3.

Prior to this offensive rally, ETSU brought in senior Landon Smiddy (Knoxville, Tenn.) to pitch for Stuart. Smiddy retired six of the first seven batters he faced to keep his team in position to tie it and later take the lead.

In the ninth inning, UNCG finally cracked the code with a solo homer to lead it off and a pair of runners on. After a pitching change, the Spartans hit a single and a sacrifice fly to bring in the inherited runners. Justin Hanvey (Purcellville, Va.) reached in the bottom of the ninth with a hit-by-pitch, but the Spartans escaped with the win.

The Bucs had a slim 11-10 advantage in the hit column and neither team committed an error. In fact, many of ETSU’s offensive outs resulted in highly skilled plays by the UNCG defense or by unlucky flyouts at the warning track. ETSU left 13 runners on, while UNCG stranded seven.

McCarthy led the Bucs with a three-hit day, while Sisneros, King and Iannantone had two hits apiece. Sisneros has reached in 19 straight games and has a team-high 28 multi-hit games. King has reached in 14 straight games. Iannantone currently leads the team with a nine-game hitting streak.



Win – Jake Wolf (4-2)

Loss – Landon Smiddy (3-7)

Save – None



ETSU: 24-27, 9-11

UNCG: 22-31, 9-11



The series will be decided on Saturday. First pitch is set for 10 a.m.

Tomorrow’s regular season finale at Thomas Stadium will be loaded with promotions, including a retro “State” T-Shirt giveaway for the first 200 fans — presented by Pepsi. There will also be a “Nine Innings of Winning” promotion where prizes are given away every inning. Saturday is also ETSU Baseball Alumni Appreciation Day, where former ETSU baseball players will receive free admission. Finally, ETSU will also celebrate fan appreciation day where all other fans can purchase tickets for $2. 

For up-to-date information on Buccaneer baseball, visit and click on the baseball tab. Also, follow us on Twitter at @ETSU_Baseball.