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Greensboro's bats come alive in 9-7 win over Bucs

Joe Avento • Apr 1, 2017 at 8:40 PM

A five-run sixth inning was too much for the East Tennessee State University baseball team to overcome.

A day after shutting out UNC Greensboro, the Bucs fell to the Spartans, 9-7, in a Southern Conference game Saturday at Thomas Stadium.

On Friday, ETSU’s Ryan Simpler pitched a complete game shutout against UNCG, which came into the series leading the nation in hitting with a .338 team batting average. The Spartans’ bats woke up on Saturday as they banged out 17 hits off of six ETSU pitchers.

Goss’ two-run single was the big blow in the Spartan’s five-run inning.

UNCG improved to 17-10 overall, 3-2 in the SoCon, while the Bucs fell to 13-11, 2-3.

After UNCG jumped out to a 2-0 lead, the Bucs fought back and tied it up in the fourth inning on Cullen Smith’s two-run double. The Spartansadded two more in the seventh inning.

ETSU scored two more in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Chris Cook and an RBI single from Blake Rowlett. That cut the deficit to 9-4.

The Bucs tried to rally in the ninth, scoring three runs on Hunter Parker’s run-scoring single, Caleb Longley’s RBI double and Jammer Strickland’s sac fly, but they couldn’t get any closer.

All nine UNCG starters got at least one hit and seven of them had an RBI, with Ryne Sigmon and Austin Embler each getting three hits. Cesar Trejo had a home run in the fourth inning.

For the Bucs, Parker went 3 for 3 to raise his batting average to .439. Aaron Maher had two hits.

The two teams will close the series Sunday at 1 p.m.

Softball

Lindsey Fadnek pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits and five walks, as the ETSU softball team beat Mercer 2-1 to salvage a split in a SoCon doubleheader at Betty Basket Field.

Danielle Knoetze drove in ETSU’s first run with a first-inning groundout. The Bucs scored again on Taylor Carter’s RBI single in the third. Fadnek walked in a run in the fourth for Mercer’s only run.

Mykeah Johnson and Nikki Grupp each had two hits in the nightcap for the Bucs (15-17 overall, 1-1 SoCon).

In the first game, a 2-0 Mercer win, the Bears scored on a Maxine Rodriguez double in the second inning and added another in the third on Quirisa Mauga’s sacrifice fly.

On the sac fly, the throw beat runner Meghan Rud and ETSU catcher Kylie Toler appeared to make the tag, but Rud was called safe.

Caroline Taylor and Meghan Rud each had two of the Bears’ six hits in the opener. Madison Ogle (6-8) worked out of trouble to keep the Bucs in the game. Only one of the runs was earned.

Megan Bilgri (7-4) held ETSU to four hits in a complete-game shutout.

Golf

Mateusz Gradecki remained in contention after the second round of the Mason Rudolph Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin.

Gradecki, a senior for ETSU, shot a one-under-par 70 and was five under par through two rounds, one shot off the lead shared by the Florida duo of Andy Zhang and Sam Horsfield and Alabama’s Josh Sedeno.

In the team standings, ETSU found itself in 10th place in the 14-team field at 16 over par after shooting a 287 second round. Alabama (18 under par) holds a slim lead over Florida (17 under) and Vanderbilt (14 under).

Cayman Ratliff had the Bucs’ second-best round, a 71. Trevor Hulbert shot 72, while Zack Ford had a 74 and Geuntae Kim shot 82.

The final round is scheduled for Sunday morning.

Women’s tennis

Maria Guinart Espana improved to 31-0 in her singles career as ETSU’s women held off Mercer, 4-3, at the Dave Mullins Tennis Complex.

Guinart Espana beat Mercer’s Grace Korta, 6-1,6-0, at No. 2 singles.

The two teams split the six singles matches and the difference was ETSU winning the doubles point.

Yi Chi Ma’s singles victory gave the Bucs the clinching point. Alory Pereira also won in singles for ETSU, which improved to 9-4 overall, 4-0 in the SoCon. Mercer fell to 11-6, 2-2.

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