May 20, 202312345678RHE
Win: Cade Carlson (5-1) 5.072236
Loss: Grant Aycock (0-4) 1.122220
Daniel Cerda (UNCG) 423101
Cody Miller (ETSU) 524110
Bucs dominate UNCG in regular season finale, 13-3
Bucs dominate UNCG in regular season finale, 13-3
Saturday, May 20, 2023

ETSU earns No. 4 seed for 2023 Southern Conference tournament

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 20, 2023) – The regular season finale went about as perfect as possible for the ETSU baseball team on Saturday morning, as the Buccaneers beat the weather and the UNCG Spartans by a 13-3 final in eight innings at Thomas Stadium.

With the win, ETSU is locked into the fourth seed for the upcoming 2023 SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases. The top four teams receive a first round bye, meaning ETSU will play the Day 1 winner of No. 5 VMI and No. 8 The Citadel on Day 2 of the tournament set for Thursday, May 25 at 3 p.m.

Meanwhile, the bottom four seeds will face off in the single elimination round of the tournament. In addition to VMI and The Citadel, UNCG will play on Day 1 as the No. 6 seed against No. 7 Western Carolina. The winner of that game will face No. 3 Wofford on Thursday night. The top two seeds are Samford and Mercer, respectively, and will play their first games on Friday.

After starting Southern Conference play with a 2-7 record after nine games against the top three teams, ETSU rose from eighth place to fourth place with four straight series wins and an 8-4 record in the second half of league play. This run includes two wins each over The Citadel, Western Carolina, VMI and UNCG.

After a heartbreaking loss yesterday left the fourth spot up for grabs, ETSU went and took it back with authority. The tone was set right away with a 1-2-3 top half of the inning, followed by two runs in two at-bats by the Bucs. Following a leadoff four-pitch walk to Cody Miller (Rocky Point, N.Y.), Buccaneer slugger Cameron Sisneros (Littleton, Colo.) made an early impact with a jack to left field.

That early lead never went away, as ETSU piled on five runs in the first four innings, then rallied for five more in the fifth inning to take a 10-1 lead. UNCG snuck a couple of runs across late, but a three-run eighth inning brought on the mercy rule and ended the contest early at 13-3 — just before a slight bit of rain began to trickle down at the stadium.

ETSU used the tag team of Cade Carlson (Carmel, Ind.) and Austin Emener (Macon, Ga.) on the mound, as Carlson went 5-0 innings with just two runs allowed on seven hits, three walks and six strikeouts. Emener finished the final three innings for the save, allowing just one run on three hits with a walk and five strikeouts. The two combined for 11 strikeouts, sending the crowd home happy with free queso from Moe’s Southwest Grill in Johnson City.

While the pitchers did their thing, the batters peppered UNCG’s seven pitchers with 15 hits and turned those into 13 runs. The top two in the order had perhaps the biggest impact, as Miller finished 4-for-5 with a walk, three singles and a double. His base knock to right center scored the final run of the game.

Meanwhile, Sisneros — who was intentionally walked four times this weekend — proved why he is respected by many managers with two home runs and five RBIs. Following his first inning two-run shot, Sisneros made UNCG pay again in the fifth with a three-run jack over the right field fence and perhaps State of Franklin Road.

Other big performances from ETSU include multi-hit days by local products Noah Webb (Kodak, Tenn.) and Ashton King (Knoxville, Tenn.), as well as a three-hit game by Jackson Green (Blackwood, N.J.) who made his first start in left field since February. Green finished 3-for-4 with two singles and a double, driving home the first run of the eighth inning and later coming around to score the final run on Miller’s single.

Webb also had a three-hit day for ETSU, driving in a clutch two-out RBI to score King to make it 4-1 in the third inning. Webb also scored twice in the fifth and in the eighth. Meanwhile, King finished 2-for-5 with a solo homer off the scoreboard in the fifth inning and a double that brought home Skyler Cannady (Nicholasville, Ky.) all the way from first in the third inning.

Though the other three batters in the order did not record a hit, all three impacted the offense in other ways. Cannady reached on two walks and scored both times, including once in the eighth. Catcher Ryan McCarthy (Knoxville, Tenn.) continued his strong weekend with two walks and two RBIs — one being a sac fly to score Cannady and the other being an RBI groundout to score Webb in the eighth. Second baseman Noah Gent (Corryton, Tenn.) — who was crucial in the series opening win — drew a bases loaded walk on Saturday for an RBI.

ETSU ends the regular season with a 25-27 overall record and a 10-11 record in league play. The Bucs won five of the last seven games to end the season, as well as six of the last eight in conference play. Meanwhile, UNCG drops to 22-32 overall and 9-12 in the league.



Win – Cade Carlson (5-1)

Loss – Grant Aycock (0-4)

Save – Austin Emener (1)



ETSU: 25-27, 10-11

UNCG: 22-32, 9-12



The Bucs will travel to Greenville, S.C. in hopes of their first conference championship since 2013. The journey begins on Thursday, May 25 at 3 p.m. against either No. 5 VMI or No. 8 The Citadel in double elimination format. The tournament will be held at Fluor Field — home of the Greenville Drive.

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