JOHNSON CITY — Relief pitchers must feel left out when Kerry Doane is on the mound.
The East Tennessee State right-hander pitched his second straight complete-game shutout — his third complete game of the season — on Sunday, leading the Buccaneers to a 5-0 victory over Rhode Island at Thomas Stadium.
Since earning a no-decision on opening day against Penn State, Doane (3-0) has recorded three straight wins. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native has thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings, lowering his earned run average to 1.09 this season.
On Sunday, Doane allowed only four hits and struck out five to stop the Rams’ two-game winning streak.
His teammates again backed him with their bats by pounding out 10 hits — the sixth time this year ETSU (9-3) has reached double digits in that column. Derek Niesman, Jeremy Taylor and Mason Hershey each finished with two base hits. Niesman scored twice and Taylor drove in a pair of runs.
Clinton Freeman of Jonesborough went 1-for-4 with a run scored, pushing his streak to 15 straight games in which he reached base.
Despite not allowing an earned run, right-hander Sean Furney (0-2) suffered the loss. He gave three unearned runs on eight hits while striking out two in six innings of work for Rhode Island (2-10), which opened the season by playing nine straight road games against ranked foes.
The Bucs and Rams close out the two-game series Monday at 6:05 p.m. Freshman righty Griffin Krieg gets the start for ETSU. Rhode Island counters with senior right-hander Mike Bradstreet.