JOHNSON CITY, TN- For the first time in two years, ETSU baseball had a pitcher of the week named by the Southern Conference as senior starting pitcher Blake Smith (Ninety Six, S.C.) had his name called by the league office on Monday for his complete game, shutout performance Sunday at Miami.
The junior college transfer tossed a gem for the Bucs in Oxford, Ohio as ETSU claimed its fifth series win of the season. He hurled a complete game, shutout where he only allowed a pair of hits and struck out 14 Redhawks – which was one short of matching an ETSU single-game record set by Reid Casey against Xavier on Feb. 23, 2001.
Smith did not allow a batter to reach third or home while allowing just one batter to touch second in the rubber series with Miami, and he faced just four batters over the minimum on the day.
The complete game effort by Smith was the first complete game shutout since All-American Kerry Doane accomplished that feat on May 10, 2013 when he delivered a 1-0 victory at No. 21 Mercer.
The 14 strikeouts recorded by Smith was the third-most by a SoCon pitcher in a single game this year. The single game record this season in the NCAA Division I is 17, which has been accomplished three times.
Smith’s previous career-best was seven strikeouts, which was set last year at UNC Asheville. He tossed 2.2 innings of relief against the Bulldogs, and Smith struck out seven of the 13 batters he faced in Asheville, N.C.
This season Smith is 1-2 and has a 2.59 ERA in five starts while limiting opposing batters to a .254 batting average in 31.1 innings pitched.
This is the second Southern Conference honor this season as red-shirt junior Chris Cook (Kingsport, Tenn.) won the player of the week honor after the season opening series with Central Michigan.
The Bucs will ready for SoCon play as they travel to reining regular season champions Mercer this weekend beginning on March 24 in Macon, Ga.
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Courtesy: East Tennessee State Athletics