Western Michigan snaps Bucs’ five game win streak

JOHNSON CITY, TN- After winning five consecutive games and looking to sweep the series against Western Michigan, the ETSU baseball team fell 11-1 on Sunday at Thomas Stadium.

Coming into the series with Western Michigan, Hunter Parker (Chattanooga, Tenn.) was tied for first in the country in hits, and after a three-game series with WMU, he now leads the team with an impressive 16 hits in eight games.

Today the junior from Chattanooga knocked a team-best two hits including a gap-splitting double in the seventh inning. He also leads the Blue and Gold in doubles (4), slugging percentage (.741) and on-base percentage (.645) on the season.

The lone run for ETSU came off the bat of freshman Cullen Smith (Lebanon, Tenn.) when he connected on a single to center field to bring home Aaron Maher (Brentwood, Tenn.), who reached on a fielder’s choice earlier in the inning. As a rookie, Smith is third on the team with a .429 batting average including 11 RBIs on the year, which is second on the squad.

Blake Smith (Ninety Six, S.C.) earned the start on Sunday as he pitched in his second game of the season. The senior totaled 100 pitches in the game as he went six innings. He allowed four runs (one earned) with all of the runs coming in the fourth inning. He struck out three batters and scattered four hits in his second outing. In four of his six innings of work, he sat the Bronco lineup down in order.

The Buccaneer offense was limited to just six hits on the day, which breaks a seven game streak of double-digit hits. The offense also struggled with runners in scoring position as they went 1-for-9 including going 1-for-15 with runners on base.

The 11 runs allowed also is a season high as the Broncos scored most of those runs late in the game.

Despite the series finale loss, ETSU has won three straight series and has started its season 6-2.

The Bucs will take several days off from the diamond as they will rest up for their first road series of the season against Florida A&M. The three-game set begins Friday, March 3 in Tallahassee, Fla. at 4 p.m.\

Courtesy: East Tennessee State Athletics

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