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Knack stays perfect for red-hot Bucs

Joe Avento • Mar 30, 2019 at 6:09 PM

This East Tennessee State baseball team just has a Knack for winning.

Landon Knack improved to 6-0 as ETSU continued the hottest start in school history by rolling past Georgetown, 11-1, Saturday at Thomas Stadium.

The Bucs raised their record to 21-5 as Knack held the Hoyas to one run in six innings. He scattered seven hits while lowering his ERA to 1.61.

The junior righty from Johnson City is 19-0 over the last two seasons at ETSU and Walters State Community College.

“I’ve had good teams,” Knack said. “I’ve had a lot of run support in those two years and they’ve made some plays behind me. The teams have really helped me out a lot.”

The victory was ETSU’s seventh in a row. The Bucs are 18-1 at home this season.

“Nothing’s more fun in this world than winning,” Knack said. “Being competitive and beating people is just fun.”

Knack, who threw 104 pitches, has won every one of his starts since he got a no-decision opening day.

“Landon did a good job,” ETSU coach Joe Pennucci said. “I don’t know if it was the best stuff he’s ever had, but he kind of battled through it. Sometimes when you’re a good pitcher, you can do that. He’s a competitive kid and he did a good job.”

EARLY LEAD

The Bucs gave Knack some breathing room with a three-run first inning that was capped by a softly hit two-run double by Ethan Shelton. The ball squibbed off the end of the bat and somehow stayed fair enough to slice around first base, allowing two runs to score. Shelton finished with three RBIs.

POURING IT ON

The Bucs used a four-run third to break it open. Jackson Greer’s two-run single up the middle was the big blow. Greer also drove in three runs, going 2 for 4.

ETSU’s leadoff hitter Jake Lyle went 3 for 5 and scored three runs. Cade Gilbert, Shelton and Kearney each had two hits for ETSU.

The Bucs had six doubles among their 14 hits.

“We scored in a lot of different innings and we got some hits when we needed to,” Pennucci said. “These guys have shown up every day and they’re willing to compete. It’s nice to see that level of consistency so far. If we can keep that up, good things will happen.”

Joe Acosta relieved Knack and held Georgetown to one hit over the final three innings.

HOYAS’ HELPERS

Eddie McCabe and Michael Willis each had two hits for Georgetown, which fell to 6-21.

Kyle Ruedisili drove in the Hoyas’ only run with a third-inning sacrifice fly.

UP NEXT

The two teams conclude the series Sunday with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. ETSU plays host to Radford on Tuesday as well.

“It’s a lot of fun out here, but we have to make sure we stay even-keeled,” Greer said.

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