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Bucs rallly twice to sweep VMI

Joe Avento • Updated Apr 8, 2018 at 11:57 PM

Two comeback victories added up to one successful afternoon for the East Tennessee State baseball team.

The Bucs beat Virginia Military Institute 6-4 and 7-3 Sunday after falling behind in both games, for a Southern Conference doubleheader sweep at Thomas Stadium.

Aaron Maher earned the save in the first game and hit a home run in the second as the Bucs improved to 17-11 overall, 4-5 in the SoCon. VMI fell to 14-16, 4-5.

GAME ONE

A four-run sixth inning was the difference for the Bucs after shaky defense helped VMI jump out to a 4-1 lead.

Hunter Parker’s two-run single was the big blow for ETSU. Caleb Longley added an RBI single and Christian Bailey had a sacrifice fly in the decisive inning.

Longley’s sac fly in the seventh gave the Bucs an insurance run. Chris Cook and Longley each had two of ETSU’s seven hits.

Ryan Simpler (3-3) earned the win after scattering seven hits in seven innings. He closed with three scoreless innings. Maher, the team’s right fielder, pitched the final two innings for his fourth save.

Matt Pita and Jake Huggins each had two hits for the Keydets. Noah Cook had three RBIs.

COMEBACK COMPLETE

VMI jumped out ahead again with a two-run second inning before ETSU began another comeback with two in the fourth and two more in the fifth.

Cade Gilbert drove in one run with a single and Sean Kearney added a sac fly in the fourth. Maher homered and Longley added a sac fly in the fifth. Maher’s home run, a solo shot, was his fifth of the season.

Kearney also drove in a run with a single in the sixth and Jackson Greer capped the afternoon with a two-run homer in the seventh.

Russell Koesters (2-0) was the winning pitcher, allowing two runs on four hits over six innings.

UP NEXT

The Bucs play a non-conference game at Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday before heading to Greensboro for a weekend SoCon series against UNCG.

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