JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 23, 2012) – After having its midweek game against Tennessee Tech washed out due to rain, the ETSU (1-2) baseball team continues its long homestand by welcoming Saint Joseph’s (1-2) to town for a three-game tilt at Thomas Stadium beginning on Friday. Each game of the series will start at 1:05 p.m.
John Long (Anderson, S.C.) will make his second start of the season against the Hawks on Friday and will oppose junior Kyle Mullen. Mullen (0-1) earned the start on opening day and pitched 5.0 innings and gave up three hits and four runs. Long is 1-0 on the year after claiming the opening day victory against Eastern Kentucky last Friday.
Saturday’s matchup will have junior Derek Bushey (Richmond, Va.) pitching for the Bucs against the Hawks’ Alex Pracher. Bushey pitched 5.0 stellar innings out of the bullpen for the Bucs over the weekend and gave up no runs and just one hit, while striking out six. Pracher is 0-1 after tossing 5.0 innings and giving up nine hits and six runs (five earned) against Monmouth.
The series finale will pit ETSU sophomore Jake Long (Anderson, S.C.) against the Hawks’ Jordan Carter. Long pitched 4.0 innings and gave up four runs on five hits, while walking two and striking out seven. Carter gave SJU a solid start on Saturday – pitching 5.2 innings and giving up just two runs on five hits.
ETSU opened the season at Thomas Stadium by earning the first win in the new park, 8-2 over EKU. However, the Colonels swept the doubleheader on Saturday to claim the series. The Bucs improved to 10-3 under head coach Tony Skole in home openers.
Senior outfielder Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) started his final campaign by going 5-for-11 (.455) with three home runs, five RBI, four runs, three walks and a stolen base. Scruggs hit a home run in each game of the series and became the first player to hit a home run in the new Thomas Stadium. With the three homers on the weekend, Scruggs is now tied with Adam Brett Walker of Jacksonville for career home runs among active A-Sun student-athletes with 29. Sophomore Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) matched Scruggs by going 5-for-11 on the weekend, while junior Derek Niesman (Wellington, Fla.) was 3-for-8 (.375) with a home run and outfielder Andrew Green (Powell, Tenn.) was 3-for-10 (.300).
Saint Joseph’s posted a 1-2 record at the USA Baseball Complex Classic in Cary, N.C. to open the season. The Hawks dropped games to Bryant and Monmouth before defeating Canisius in the final game of the event. SJU was scheduled to play N.C. State last Sunday, but it was cancelled due to inclement weather.
Through three games this season, Brian O’Keefe and Chris Hueth lead the Hawks at the plate. O’Keefe is 4-for-7 (.571) on the season with four RBI, while Hueth is 5-for-12 (.417) with three RBI.
Steven Schuler picked up the only win of the season for the Hawks on the mound. Schuler pitched 2.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen against Canisius to earn the victory.
ETSU leads the all-time series against Saint Joseph’s with a mark of 8-5, but the two teams have not faced each other since the 1997 season when the Hawks earned a 7-5 victory.
There will be live stats through Gametracker available at ETSUBucs.com for each game of the series.
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.