SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Mar. 14, 2012) – Senior Dylan Pratt (Johnson City, Tenn.) got the Bucs on the scoreboard early with a two-run homer in the first inning and the ETSU (9-6) bullpen limited Wofford (8-9) to just one run over six innings lifting the Bucs to a 5-3 victory on Wednesday night at King Field.
Logan Rice (Erwin, Tenn.) (1-0) came on in relief of starter Will Carter (Johnson City, Tenn.) to earn his first win of the season after pitching two scoreless innings. Meanwhile, Clinton Freeman (Jonesborough, Tenn.) also had a scoreless outing after pitching three innings and allowing just two hits, while striking out two. Starter Mason Bradley was charged with the loss after giving up six hits and four runs (three earned) in five innings of work.
Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.), Kerry Doane (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and Mason Hershey (Altoona, Pa.) each recorded two hits for the Bucs. Meanwhile, Freeman was 1-for-4 with an RBI to extend his reached bases streak to nine straight games.
ETSU got on the scoreboard in the top of the first inning thanks to a mammoth home run by Pratt. Freeman continued his hot hitting with a two-out single through the left side, which extended the inning. Pratt followed with his fourth homer of the year – a ball that was launched well over the left field wall – giving the Bucs the 2-0 lead.
Wofford got within a run in the bottom half of the first inning. James Foster led off the inning with a four-pitch walk and he advanced to third on a Josh Hyman single to left field. Mac Doyle followed with a sacrifice fly – scoring Foster from third to make the score 2-1.
The Bucs extended their lead in the second with a run on no hits in the inning. Freshman Chris Riopedre (Cooper City, Fla.) got it started with a leadoff walk and later stole second to get in scoring position. With two outs in the inning, Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.) walked to put runners on the corners. Then, Betterson stole second and the throw from catcher David Roney sailed into center field – scoring Riopedre from third.
The Terriers answered with another run in the third inning on a Hyman RBI single – scoring Matthew Kaskow from third. Kaskow got aboard on a fielder’s choice and then stole consecutive bases to reach third. Hyman followed with a line drive single into right center to make the score 3-2.
ETSU added a run in the fifth on two hits. Scruggs got the inning started with a one-out single and Niesman followed with a single to right center – advancing Scruggs to third. Freeman then recorded an RBI on a fielder’s choice to give the Bucs a 4-2 lead.
The Bucs added an insurance run in the ninth on two hits and a Wofford error. Hershey recorded a two-out single to get the rally started. Scruggs followed with a single to advance Hershey to third. Then, Niesman grounded a ball to the shortstop, which was misplayed allowing Hershey to score.
Wofford got the bottom half of the ninth started with a leadoff home run from catcher David Roney off Doane to pull the Terriers within two at 5-3. After Taylor Rozier reached base on an ETSU error, Doane retired the next three batters to pick up his third save of the season.
The Bucs will return home to open conference play with a three-game set against Belmont beginning on Friday at Thomas Stadium. Friday’s game will begin at 2:05 p.m. with a 1:05 p.m. start on Saturday and Sunday.
- Dylan Pratt has now reached base in all 15 games so far this season after his first inning home run.
- Catcher Mason Hershey earned his first two hits in an ETSU uniform after going 2-for-4 on the night.
- Logan Rice earned his first victory of the season after tossing two scoreless innings.
- Kerry Doane finished 2-for-4 at the plate to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games.
- ETSU now leads the all-time series against Wofford 22-13
For more information on ETSU baseball, please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the baseball link.