May 25, 2023123456789RHE
Win: Ben Petschke (5-2) 1.230011
Loss: Cade Carlson (5-2) 8.042204
Skyler Cannady (ETSU) 403000
Garrett Staton (SAM) 401000
John Anderson (SAM) 301000
Lucas Steele (SAM) 311101
Andrew Bennett (SAM) 311101
Bucs suffer heartbreaking loss to No. 1 Samford, 2-1
Carlson throws 8.0 innings with just four hits allowed on Thursday. — Courtesy: Brian Miller Photography
Bucs suffer heartbreaking loss to No. 1 Samford, 2-1
Thursday, May 25, 2023

ETSU looks to avoid elimination tomorrow at 9 a.m. vs. No. 6 UNCG

GREENVILLE, S.C. (May 25, 2023) – ETSU and Samford battled to the wire in a winner’s bracket non-elimination game on Thursday afternoon, but the battle ended in heartbreaking fashion for the Buccaneers as Samford edged the Blue & Gold by a 2-1 final at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C.

ETSU now faces elimination tomorrow morning as the No. 4 Bucs take on No. 6 UNCG on Friday at 9 a.m. If the Bucs get past the Spartans, they will play again Friday evening in the 7:30 p.m. nightcap against either No. 8 The Citadel, No. 2 Mercer or No. 3 Wofford.

Meanwhile, top-seeded Samford advances to the 4 p.m. game on Friday to face the winner of Mercer and Wofford. The winner of that game will move on to the championship final later this weekend.

In what proved to be an unbelievable pitcher’s duel, ETSU senior Cade Carlson (Carmel, Ind.) went to work against SoCon Pitcher of the Year Jacob Cravey from Samford. Neither team could post a run through six innings, but the dramatics began flaring up in the final three innings.

The Bucs threatened in the top of the seventh with a pair of singles by Nick Iannantone (Plainfield, Ill.) and Skyler Cannady (Nicholasville, Ky.), but Samford escaped the inning and stranded both runners in scoring position with a flyout and a strikeout. Then with two outs in the bottom half of the inning, Samford’s Lucas Steele hit a solo homer slightly over the right field fence to break the scoreless tie. Carlson got a foul out on the next play — grabbed against the rolled-up tarp by Cody Miller (Rocky Point, N.Y.) to take some of the momentum back.

ETSU finally broke through in the eighth inning as Jackson Green (Blackwood, N.J.) started things with a leadoff single. This brought in Kain Collins (Kingston, Tenn.) to pinch run, moving over to second on a nicely-place sacrifice bunt by Ryan McCarthy (Knoxville, Tenn.). An infield single by Miller spelt trouble for the Bulldogs, as they elected to end Cravey’s day and bring in closer Ben Petschke.

With Collins on second and Miller on first, clutch-hitting Cameron Sisneros (Littleton, Colo.) singled in the tying run as Collins slid under the catcher successfully. In the next at-bat, an errant throw by the pitcher on a potential double play allowed Iannantone to reach on a fielder’s choice and Sisneros to reach second. Unfortunately, a heads-up play by Samford’s middle infield to keep the ball in play allowed the Bulldogs to throw out the potential go-ahead run at home. A flyout after that would end the frame.

Much like the seventh, Carlson retired the first two hitters of the eighth on just three pitches, but a homer to left field by Andrew Bennett put Samford back ahead. A flyout to right field ended the inning.

With ETSU down to its final three outs, the dramatics started. Cannady singled to open the frame, then attempted to steal with two strikes in the next at-bat. Cannady was originally called out on a strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play, but after review was deemed safe with no tag applied. Unfortunately, a batter’s interference erased the steal, putting Cannady back on first — but safe nonetheless.

One of the heroes from the first game of the day, senior Noah Webb (Kodak, Tenn.), entered next and hit a one-out single through the right side. Another unfortunate break for the Bucs occurred as the ball bounced off the dirt and hit Cannady as he was running to second, resulting in an out via interference. Garett Wallace (Sanford, Fla.) came on to pinch hit — representing the go-ahead run — and drew a two-out walk. Unfortunately for the Bucs, Samford left the go-ahead run in scoring position, striking out the final hitter to end a highly-competitive game with a disappointing result.

Carlson finished an incredible outing with just two runs allowed on four hits over 8.0 innings. He did not walk any batters but struck out four in the effort. Cravey went 7.1 innings with one run allowed on seven hits. Petschke earned the win with three hits allowed, but no scoring over the final 1.2 innings.

Cannady led ETSU with a three-hit day, while Webb and Miller added two apiece to go with their homers from Game 1. Sisneros, Green and Iannantone had the other three hits.

The Bucs threatened to score much more frequently, but Samford tight roped out of multiple threats to strand eight runners on base. The Bucs were much more efficient on defense, stranding just two runners and allowing two runs on the four hits with no free passes.

In two games against The Citadel and Samford today, Carlson and ETSU ace Nathanial Tate (Manchester, Tenn.) combined for 13.2 scoreless innings before allowing any runs.



Win – Ben Petschke (5-2)

Loss – Cade Carlson (5-2)

Save – None



ETSU: 26-28, 1-1 tournament

SAM: 33-22, 1-0 tournament



The Bucs take on No. 6 UNCG in hopes of avoiding elimination tomorrow at 9 a.m. A win puts ETSU in the 7:30 p.m. game. The rest of the bracket has yet to be determined with potential weather expected after Friday.

To view the full bracket, click here

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