The ETSU baseball team came into its home game against Northern Kentucky on Friday trying to bounce back from a 11-0 loss against Virginia Tech.
Despite the fast start by Northern Kentucky, swinging the bats with one runner in scoring position, the Bucs were able to leave one runner on base. Following a fly out in right field and a error by Northern Kentucky on a potential scoring run, the Bucs were able to complete the first inning with good defense.
However, on offense they weren’t able to generate. Only one runner, Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.), was able to get on base, leaving the first inning tied at zero.
In the second inning, the Bucs’ pitcher Blake Smith (Ninety Six, S.C.) made quick work of the Northern Kentucky batters, striking out two and forcing a ground out by the batter. On offense, Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) was able to knock a line drive in left field to get a single. After a sacrifice bunt, Owensby was able to steal to second base, which was followed by a strikeout, giving the Bucs two outs. Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.) was able to drive the ball to right field, but it was caught. The second inning ended tied at 0.
To start the fifth inning, a Northern Kentucky batter was able to connect on a pitch, resulting in a double. This was followed by a fly ball between left and middle field, giving the Bucs their first out of the inning.
Smith struck out his sixth batter, giving the Bucs their second out. The next at bat for Northern Kentucky was able to get their second runner on base following a hit down the middle. With that, Northern Kentucky had a runner on third and first base, but after a ground ball to shortstop gave the Bucs their third out, the Bucs were able to leave the runner on third base stranded.
On offense, following the fly ball, Maher was able to get a shot to right field, giving him a double. Followed by a walk, Jeremy Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) hit a fly ball to center, giving the Bucs their second out. Cook was able to knock a shot between middle and right field, driving in two runs and giving him a triple on the hit. After the fifth inning, the Bucs led 2-0.
Things got interesting in the ninth inning. Northern Kentucky got in scoring position after a double followed by a single, giving Northern Kentucky two runners on base.
Then, another double was hit, tying the score at 2. The Bucs committed a fielding error on a hit, which allowed Northern Kentucky a score that gave them a 3-2 lead.
In the inning, Northern Kentucky had four hits, two of them drove in runs. After a pitching change and walk, the bases were loaded for Northern Kentucky with zero outs. Griffin Krieg (Nashville, Tenn.) struck out the next three batters. Just down one, the Bucs offense had a chance to try to take game into extra innings. The Bucs’ first two at bat were both fly outs, giving them only one more chance.
The Bucs fell to Northern Kentucky 3-2, dropping their record to 1-3.