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Wednesday night SoCon baseball championship roundup
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/22/2019
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Wofford's Mike Brown
Courtesy: Southern Conference

No. 3 UNCG 2, No. 6 ETSU 4

GREENVILLE, S.C. – In a game that started off as a pitchers’ duel, No. 6 seed ETSU broke though in the fifth to lead the Bucs to a 4-2 victory over No. 3 UNCG in Wednesday’s third game of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field.

ETSU (33-19) will face the winner of No. 7 VMI and No. 2 Wofford on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. UNCG (33-19) falls to the loser’s side of the bracket and will face the loser of the VMI/Wofford game on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

UNCG’s Caleb Webster’s first-inning double was the only hit for either side through the fourth inning, but the Bucs’ bats came alive in the fifth. ETSU’s David Beam started things off with a double down the line.

After an Ethan Cady walk to put runners on first and second, Jake Lyle singled up the middle to bring in Beam. Colby Emmertz singled to left field, scoring Cady, and Markell Graham reached base on a fielder’s choice to first on a sacrifice bunt, putting Emmertz on second and sending Lyle home.

A Lyle homer in the top of the seventh brought the Bucs’ lead to 4-0.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Spartans attempted a comeback, as a Jacques Koonce single scored Josh Madole and Ryan Caveness to cut the Bucs’ lead in half, but it wasn’t enough as the Bucs were able to hang on for the win.

ETSU starter Micah Kaczor (7-2) earned the win, going 6 2/3 innings, striking out 10 and walking none. UNCG starter Austin Koehn (4-3) suffered the loss after going 4 1/3 innings and recording four strikeouts. 

No. 2 Wofford 12, No. 7 VMI 7

GREENVILLE, S.C. – No. 7 seed VMI battled back to within five but No. 2 Wofford was able to hang on in Wednesday’s nightcap of the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field, scoring four in the first inning to beat the Keydets, 12-7.  

Wofford (34-23) will face No. 6 ETSU on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. VMI (17-40) falls to the loser’s side of the bracket and will face No. 3 UNCG in an elimination game at 12: 30 p.m. Thursday.

VMI got a hit right off the bat with Callen Nuccio singling through to the right side. Jonathan Clines would reach second on a throwing error by the Terriers’ third baseman to advance Nuccio to third. Josh Hollifield grounded out to second base but it was enough to advance Clines to third and to bring Nuccio home to help the Keydets take an early 1-0 lead.

Wofford took the bottom of the first inning by storm. VMI starting pitcher Zak Kent threw a wild pitch on strike three to the Terriers’ first batter, allowing Mike Brown to reach first. Brett Rodriguez walked to put runners on first and second for Hudson Byorick, who was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. After the Keydets made a play at home to tag out Brown on a fielder’s choice, John Dempsey singled to right field to get Rodriguez across the plate. An Alec Cargin single up the middle would be enough to score Dempsey, Lawson Hill and Byorick to make the score 4-1 at the end of the first.

Both teams put up runs in the second and Wofford once again exploded in the sixth for five off hits by Dempsey, Andrew Orzel and Rodriguez. VMI countered with five runs of its own at the top of the eighth. Hollifield led off with a single to third base before Nathan Loyd singled through the right side to send Hollifield to second. Pinch-hitter Cody Warner reached first on a fielder’s choice to advance Hollifield to third. Ryan Hatten then homered, driving in three with one out. Jake Huggins added to the score, doubling with both Nuccio and Ryan Smoot on base to bring the score within five at the end of the eighth.

Wofford starter Austin Higginbotham (9-3) earned the win, going 7 innings and striking out seven. VMI’s Kent (5-5) suffered the loss after going 5 1/3 innings.

The SoCon Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases continues Thursday with four more games.  

May 21 (Tuesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
(Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 1: #8 Western Carolina 7, #9 The Citadel 3              

May 22 (Wednesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 2: #1 Samford 5, #8 Western Carolina 4 (10 innings)
Game 3: #4 Mercer 11, #5 Furman 2
Game 4: #6 ETSU 4, #3 UNCG 2
Game 5: #2 Wofford 12, #7 VMI 7

May 23 (Thursday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 6: #8 Western Carolina vs. #5 Furman                   9 a.m.

Game 7: #3 UNCG vs. #7 VMI                                         12:30 p.m.
Game 8: #1 Samford vs. #4 Mercer                                 4 p.m.
Game 9: #6 ETSU vs. #2 Wofford                                    7:30 p.m. 

May 24 (Friday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 10: Winner Game 7 vs. Loser Game 8                   3:30 p.m.

Game 11: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 9                   7 p.m. 

May 25 (Saturday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)

Game 12: Winner Game 8 vs. Winner Game 9                 12 p.m.
Game 13: Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 11              3:30 p.m.
Game 14: Winner Game 13 vs. Loser Game 12                7 p.m. 

May 26 (Sunday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (ESPN+)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 15: Winner Game 12 vs. Winner Game 14              12 p.m.

^Game 16: Winner Game 15 vs. Loser Game 15              40 minutes after Game 15 

^ if necessary

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