In a three-day series that began last Friday, the ETSU baseball team faced the Western Carolina Catamounts at home. The Bucs could not finish the games like they would have liked and were defeated in all three games. This is the first time the Bucs have been swept this season.
Game one was a difficult one for sure.
On Friday both teams battled for 12 innings. At the bottom of the ninth inning both teams were tied at four a piece. It wasn’t until the 12th inning when WCU’s Caleb Robinson doubled to left field to send teammates Spencer Holcomb to third and Matt Smith home for a score. The Bucs could not respond in the bottom of the 12th inning, and the Catamounts came out the winner.
A strong start for the Catamounts led them to victory in day two at Thomas Stadium. WCU scored five straight points to start of the game and the Bucs could not do the same in the first inning. A big play for the Bucs came in the third inning when Hagen Owenby (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a home run that brought the game within two runs.
It seemed that both teams began to find a way to get points on the board, as there were no scoreless innings for either team until the seventh inning. At the seventh inning WCU was ahead 7-6. For the remainder of the game, the Bucs could not get anyone to home base and Western Carolina found it in the eighth and ninth inning. With those two runs and no answer from the Bucs, the Catamounts defeated the Bucs 9-6 on Saturday.
Day three looked one sided as the Bucs were unable to get a lead or tie the game. The Bucs were scoreless until the bottom of the fourth when Christian Bailey (Kingsport, Tenn.) scored for the Bucs. WCU led the entire game, but a big play in the eighth inning put the game away for sure. WCU’s Cameron Blasquiere sent a home run to left center field when bases were loaded and sent himself alongside teammate Mathew Koehler, Robinson and Holcomb home to give the Catamounts a 11-3 lead.
A home run by Caleb Longley (Cleveland, Tenn.) in the bottom of the ninth gave the Bucs three runs, but wasn’t enough to get the victory as they were defeated 11-6.
“We just have to keep working hard,” said Head Coach Tony Skole. “And we have to play better in the big moments. It comes down to making a good pitch, making a great defensive play to keep us in it, getting a big hit. We were not that good offensively this weekend with runners in scoring position or with just runners on base…. Thought our guys competed hard and played hard. They were better than us this weekend.”
The next game for the Bucs will be against the Tennessee Vols at home Tuesday. The game is set for 6:30 p.m.