ETSU baseball hosted Western Carolina in a three-day series that started Friday, March 22 through Sunday, March 24. The Bucs dominated the first two rounds with a win of 10-9 on Friday and 5-4 on Saturday.
The Bucs now hold an overall record of 16-5 and 2-0 in the new SoCon season.
In the first matchup, the Bucs led in the first inning 3-2, but the Catamounts quickly tied that score come the second inning.
The Catamounts took the lead at 8-3 at the beginning of the sixth inning. The Bucs seemed to struggle to get on the board as they would go four innings without advancing the scoreboard.
Junior Jackson Greer (Knoxville, Tennessee) and junior Ethan Cady (Soddy Daisy, Tennessee) put the Bucs back on the scoreboard making the score 8-5 by the end of the sixth.
The Catamounts would come back, adding another run and continuing their lead 9-5. A fielding error and a walk would allow the Bucs to move up a base twice and close in on the Catamounts 9-7.
A big hit from freshman Ethan Shelton (Lebanon, Tennessee) in the ninth with bases loaded would dive past a glove in left field scoring and tying the game with go-ahead runs.
The Bucs would now lead the score 10-9 going into the ninth inning, allowing sophomore Mathew Mercer (Chattanooga, Tennessee) to gain his first career save. The Bucs would end the game 10-9, ready for round two.
“As the game went on, we were resilient and stuck around,” said head coach Joe Pennucci. “I’m very proud at the way they hung around and didn’t get too down, because with a game like that you can.”
The series continued, and the Bucs were the first to advance the scoreboard in the third inning. That 1-0 lead continued on into the seventh inning where the Catamounts would gain a solo homer and tie the game.
The Bucs would come back at the end of the seventh inning with four runs to break the tied score 5-1. Neither team would score until the ninth inning when the Catamounts would pick up a late rally but would be held just short of tying the score, giving the Bucs their second win of the series.
The Bucs would leave on top 5-4 and head into the last day of the series winning 2-0.
The Bucs head to face Tennessee in Knoxville next.