Despite the rainy weather over the weekend, the Bucs still hosted Virginia Military Institute in a three game weekend, featuring a double header on Sunday.
The first game came Friday afternoon at Thomas Stadium in what turned out to be a three-hour thriller. ETSU fell into a hole early, as a solo homer and a grand slam put VMI up 5. Down but not out, the Bucs chipped away at the lead with several solo runs, and closed the gap to 5-4 by the seventh inning.
VMI put up 3 scores in the seventh inning. However, thanks to an outstanding performance by sophomore Carter Linton (Kingsport, Tennessee), ETSU was able to keep the game close, only losing by 1 run.
Linton had only notched 6.2 innings pitched prior to the contest against VMI, and just earned his first career win as pitcher earlier this week against Radford on Wednesday. He kept VMI scoreless in the eighth and ninth innings to give ETSU a chance at the comeback.
After a days break due to rain, the Bucs were back out at Thomas Stadium for a chance at redemption. This time, the matchup fell in favor of ETSU.
ETSU put points on the board early, starting the scoring out in the first inning. However, the Bucs could not keep up the pressure as VMI went on to add four points of there own through the first half of the game. Luckily, a strong performance in the sixth inning gave ETSU another four points. With the score at 5-4 in the Bucs favor, keeping VMI scoreless was paramount.
Senior pitcher Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tennessee) closed out the game to seal the win. He held the opponent scoreless, included stopping a dangerous run in the ninth inning.
ETSU still has one more game to decide the winner of this weekend’s matchup. This is an important series for the Bucs, who find themselves in the bottom half of the Southern Conference standings as they edge closer and closer to the postseason.
Next up, the Bucs will take a stop at Eastern Kentucky before another weekend series against conference opponent UNC-Greensboro.