Saturday, May 12, 2018

Six homers help ETSU hammer Paladins

Six of ETSU's 11 extra-base hits went for home runs Friday as the Buccaneers whipped Furman 15-2 in the opening game of a three-game series in Johnson City, Tenn. Every ETSU starter had at least one hit and one run, and eight of the nine had at least one RBI. The Bucs piled up 17 hits as a team.

The Paladins (22-26, 7-12 Southern Conference) actually led 2-1 in the fourth inning thanks to a two-run home run by Jason Costa in the third. However, ETSU rallied violently over the next three innings with four runs in the fourth, seven in the fifth and three in the sixth.

Furman starter Nik Verbeke appeared to have a 1-2-3 inning in the fourth, but a two-out error kept the inning alive. The Bucs made the Paladins pay as Chris Cook capped the inning with a three-run homer to make it 5-2.

An inning later, ETSU got solo home runs from Aaron Maher and Ethan Rice ahead of a grand slam by Caleb Longley. It was Longley's second homer of the night and SoCon-leading 13th of the season. The Bucs' onslaught wrapped up in the sixth with a leadoff homer by Jackson Greer, followed by back-to-back triples that were both lost in the lights by Furman outfielders and a sac fly.

Longley had four hits to lead ETSU (26-19, 10-9). Bucs starter Micah Kaczor allowed all five of Furman's hits over his six innings of work. Kaczor (5-4) had two walks and eight strikeouts.

Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

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