Instead, the Bucs turned in a high-voltage performance Saturday, resulting in a 15-1 romp at Thomas Stadium.
ETSU logged seven walks and 12 hits, nine of which were extra-base knocks. Jake Madole doubled three times in a 3-for-4, 3-RBI effort, Jake Lyle accompanied a double with a triple, and Noah Hill and Jackson Greer each clubbed a two-run home run.
Cade Gilbert and Ethan Shelton both added a two-bagger for the Bucs, who achieved their largest margin of victory in an opening series since beating Bluefield State 24-2 to launch the 1990 season.
Hill matched Madole’s RBI output while Lyle and Gilbert each collected two hits and a pair of RBIs. Greer, who also drove in two runs, and Lyle accounted for three runs apiece.
Winner Zach Kirby yielded the Rockets’ lone run — Danny O’Reilly’s fourth-inning homer — on six hits in a five-inning start. He accumulated six strikeouts and walked one batter before Joseph Acosta struck out four batters over two tidy frames.
Matthew Bollenbacher and Brandon Nikitaides pitched an inning apiece to close things out.
Ryan Thompson batted 2 for 2 to pace an eight-hit Toledo output, which included a 2-for-4 showing by Trey Wright.
Buccaneer bats were quiet over the first two innings, then came a five-run third in which Madole socked a three-run double. Five more ETSU runs were produced in the fourth with Hill going deep and Gilbert banging out a two-run single.
A four-run ETSU seventh included a two-run double from Lyle and Greer’s home run.
The Bucs and Rockets wrap up their three-game series in Johnson City on Sunday. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.