Baseball Defeats ETSU 3-2 to Open A-Sun Conference Play
In yet another stellar start on the mound, junior right-hander Ricky Knapp (Port Charlotte, Fla./Port Charlotte HS) helped the Eagles pick up a 3-2 victory over East Tennessee State, to open up Atlantic Sun Conference (A-Sun) play, Friday night at Smith Stadium in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Eagles move to 14-4 on the year and 1-0 in A-Sun action. ETSU drops to 12-7 and 2-2 in A-Sun play. This is the second-straight season the Eagles have started conference play with a victory. The all-time record against the Bucs moves to 12-5.
The Green and Blue opened up the scoring in the second when redshirt senior Brooks Beisner (Punta Gorda, Fla./Charlotte HS/Auburn) reached on a fielding error by the third basemen to lead off the inning. Junior Brandon Bednar (Stuart, Fla./South fork HS) then moved Beisner to third with a double to the left field. Sophomore Michael Suchy (Bradenton, Fla./Southeast HS) then drove in Beisner from third with a single to the shortstop. Bednar also scored on the play when they shortstop committed a throwing error.
The Bucs evened the score in the bottom half of the fifth when Chris Riopedre reached on a fielder choice and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Jordan Sanford came around with the second run for the Bucs on a Jeremy Taylor double to center field.
The Eagles regained the lead in the top of the ninth when Bednar lead off with a ground rule double to left field. Suchy followed by moving Bednar to third on a sacrifice bunt. Freshman Nick River (Cape Coral, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) then drove Bednar in with a single to left field.
Knapp moves to 5-0 on the year with the win. The Port Charlotte native tossed eight innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and fanned eight batters. Junior Harrison Cooney (Vero Beach, Fla./Vero Beach HS) tossed a scoreless ninth inning to record his second save this season.
Freshman Griffin Krieg started on the bump for ETSU and was credited with the loss. Krieg’s record moves to 2-1 on the season.
Suchy and Rivera both led the ballclub in hitting, collecting two hits and a RBI apiece. Bednar and senior Mike Reeves (Peterborough, Ontario/St. Peter’s Secondary) also collected two hits in the victory.
The Eagles will be back in action tomorrow, when they face ETSU again for the second game of the three-game series at 2 p.m.