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Buccaneers make it three consecutive sweeps

Johnson City Press • Mar 2, 2019 at 8:49 PM

Thomas Stadium hasn’t been a good place to be this season for East Tennessee State baseball foes.

On Saturday afternoon, the Buccaneers took a 7-2, 7-2 twin-bill from visiting LIU-Brooklyn. With those victories, ETSU swept its third consecutive three-game series for the first time since at least 1983, according to available records.

ETSU improved to 9-2, vanquishing an LIU-Brooklyn team (1-9) that arrived in Johnson City fresh off a 1-0 victory over No. 9 Georgia.

The first game on Saturday was underscored by a terrific outing from pitcher Landon Knack, who yielded only two runs — both unearned — over eight innings. He struck out 11 batters, including the side twice, and did not issue a walk.

Offensively, the Bucs showed up early — producing four first-inning runs to assume command. A pair of pitching miscues allowed two runs to score before freshman Kyle Richardson began a career day with a two-run single.

Cullen Smith led the Buccaneer bats with a 3-for-3 performance that featured a pair of doubles. He also walked and scored twice.

Richardson collected three RBIs and doubled in a 2-for-4 effort while Noah Hill was 2-for-2 with a two-bagger and two walks. Ethan Cady tripled and Cade Gilbert socked a double.

Gilbert went 4 for 4 and Hill drove in three runs during the series finale. Smith, Jackson Greer and Markell Graham helped construct a 13-hit attack by contributing two hits apiece, with Richardson knocking in two runs to complete a five-RBI day.

Doubles were supplied by Jake Lyle, Greer, Richardson and Smith, who scored twice.

Lyle swatted an RBI double, Hill a two-run single and Richardson a two-run double in a five-run ETSU third, erasing a 1-0 Blackbirds edge.

Starting pitcher Daniel Sweeney (2-0) authored an impressive seven-inning start, yielding two runs on four hits and totaling six strikeouts against no walks.

Matthew Mercer totaled three Ks over an inning and a third, then James Giambalvo got the final two outs.

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