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Buccaneers capture long-awaited win over Clemson

Johnson City Press • Feb 25, 2020 at 9:55 PM

CLEMSON, S.C. — It was no run-of-the-mill night for East Tennessee State’s baseball team.

Turning back unbeaten Clemson 5-3 on Tuesday, the Buccaneers recorded a win over the Tigers for the first time since 1985.

“It was a fantastic team win!” said ETSU coach Joe Pennucci after his team improved to 6-2. “Tucker Rogers gave us five quality innings and Joe Acosta and Nathanial Tate combined for an awesome overall pitching performance.

“We scored in the first inning and our offense put pressure on them all night with quality at-bats and some big hits. I am proud of the way we competed, communicated and stayed together.”

In his first start for ETSU, Rogers (1-0) left after five innings and the Bucs holding a 3-2 lead. Acosta totaled four strikeouts over the next two innings, in which he allowed a run, then Tate got the final six outs for his first save.

ETSU pitchers combined to give up 11 hits, but totaled 10 strikeouts against one walk and never let the Tigers (7-1) put together a big inning.

“It feels great to have my first Division I win tonight and it’s even more incredible having it be at Clemson,” Rogers said. “Our offense did their part in putting up runs and keeping pressure on them — and our pitching continued the pressure. It was a big collaborative effort by the squad, a great team win.”

David Beam broke a 2-2 fifth-inning tie with a run-scoring double down the left-field line — and ETSU stayed in front the rest of the way.

Beam and Jake Lyle each went 2 for 3 with a two-bagger for the the Bucs. Lyle also contributed two RBIs, two stolen bases and a pair of walks, one with the bases loaded in the seventh.

Cade Gilbert (2 runs), Noah Hill and Ben Jackson all added two hits to a 14-hit ETSU assault. The Bucs drew eight bases on balls.

Clemson’s Kier Meredith batted 4 for 5 with a double and Davis Sharpe went 3 for 4.

NOTES

The Bucs’ five runs and 14 hits are the most allowed by Clemson this season. ... For the second consecutive game, all nine players in ETSU’s starting lineup reached base. ... The victory is ETSU’s first over an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent since Feb. 22, 2015 when the Bucs took down Pittsburgh 10-4 in a neutral-site contest (South Carolina). It is the Bucs’ first road win over an ACC team since May 17, 2011 at Georgia Tech. ... Lyle extended his hitting streak, which began at the start of the season, to eight games. Hill and Jackson joined him in becoming the only three Bucs who have reached base in all eight games in 2020.

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