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Weather forces baseball schedule change

Joe Avento • Updated Mar 8, 2018 at 6:30 PM

Mother Nature has thrown the East Tennessee State baseball team another changeup.

The schedule for the Bucs’ weekend series with Winthrop at Thomas Stadium has been changed because of expected inclement weather. The new schedule has the two teams playing a doubleheader on Friday at 1 p.m. with a single game set for Saturday at a yet-to-be-determined time.

The Bucs come into the non-conference series with a 6-4 record in coach Joe Pennucci’s first season.

Kingsport’s Chris Cook continues to lead the team in hitting with a .390 average. Ben Jackson, a freshman catcher out of Guyton, Georgia, is second at .364. Christian Bailey is hitting .350 and leads the Bucs with 12 RBIs.

Aaron Maher, the team’s right fielder, is also the closer. He has three saves in three pitching appearances.

Winthrop, the defending Big South Conference champion, brings a 5-8 record into Johnson City.

TRACK & FIELD

ETSU’s Ben Johnson will represent his school in the weight throw at the NCAA indoor track and field championship this weekend at College Station, Texas.

Johnson won the Southern Conference meet with a throw of 72 feet, 1.75 inches, a school record. He is seeded 13th in the 16-man NCAA field. The top seed, AJ McFarland of Florida, comes in with a heave of 72-8.

Johnson was the SoCon’s outdoor discus and javelin champion last year.

The trials and finals for the weight throw are schedule for Saturday.

ATHLETES OF THE MONTH

Tianna Tarter of the ETSU women’s basketball team and Robert Herrera of the men’s tennis team were chosen as the Southern Conference’s athletes of the month on Thursday.

Tarter averaged 19.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game in February. Herrera went 4-1 at No. 1 singles and 4-2 at No. 2 doubles during the month.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Don’t forget, the season isn’t over for the ETSU women’s basketball team. The Bucs will play in the Women’s NIT. The pairings are expected to be announced Monday night after the women’s NCAA bracket is released.

The WNIT begins Wednesday night and runs through March 31, when the championship game will be played.

ETSU (20-11) finished second in the Southern Conference’s regular season and lost in the championship game of the conference tournament to Mercer.

SOFTBALL

Betty Basler Field will be a busy place this weekend when the Buccaneers Classic is played. ETSU will play host to Jackson State, St. Peter’s and Austin Peay in the event.

The Bucs’ action begins with a game against St. Peter’s Friday at 1:15 p.m., followed by another contest against Jackson State.

ETSU, the defending Southern Conference champion, brings a 6-9 record into the tournament.

Unicoi County graduate Taylor Wright is hitting .385 to lead ETSU, while freshman Lauren Lee is hitting .375 and Tiffany Laughren, also from Unicoi County, has four home runs.

Ten games between the four teams are scheduled in the event, which will conclude Sunday afternoon.

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