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Blue Raiders drub Bucs on Day 2 of Tri-Star Classic

From staff reports • Mar 4, 2018 at 1:56 AM

KNOXVILLE — Middle Tennessee State’s bats were far from frigid, and East Tennessee State’s baseball team couldn’t beat the heat.

Pounding out 20 hits, the Blue Raiders doubled up the Buccaneers 16-8 on Saturday in the Tri-Star Classic at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.

The Bucs (4-4) were coming off a 10-9 victory over Tennessee in their Tri-Star opener on Friday.

The Blue Raiders (5-5) did most of their damage in the fourth and fifth innings, scoring 11 runs in the two-inning span.

ETSU, which totaled eight hits, had its fair share of opportunities early on. The Bucs had scored three times by the end of the fourth but left the bases loaded in each the second, third and fourth innings.

One of the final outs in those innings was senior first baseman Christian Bailey. Bailey earned redemption in a similar situation later on, drilling ETSU’s first grand slam of the season in the sixth inning.

Bailey was the lone ETSU player with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-3 with a walk. Ben Jackson went 1-for-2, totaled three runs and drew three bases on balls.

Despite a tough overall day for ETSU on the mound, sophomore transfer Carter Linton made a strong debut. The local product threw 2 2-3 innings in a closing role, striking out six of the nine batters he faced and allowing just one hit with zero walks.

Including Bailey and Linton, all five of the Bucs’ Dobyns-Bennett graduates saw action — with Chris Cook getting the start at shortstop and Logan Gentry and Sam Stewart joining the game later on.

Two ETSU players, sophomore Cade Gilbert and freshman Brandon Parrott, got their first hits of the season. Gilbert drove in the Bucs’ final run, singling to left for his first RBI this year.

Parrott singled in his first collegiate at-bat, pinch hitting in the sixth inning. He almost recorded a second hit in the eighth but was robbed in the gap.

Seniors Aaron Maher and Caleb Longley, along with freshman Sean Kearney, each produced an RBI for the Bucs.

ETSU returns to Tri-Star action Sunday with a noon contest against Memphis.

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