Bucs drop two to Bearcats

By Matt Hill

   JOHNSON CITY -- Like having $15,000 and then hitting bankrupt in the game show "Wheel of Fortune," the East Tennessee State Buccaneer baseball team went from riches to rags in just one day.
   One day removed from a convincing 15-1 win over Binghamton, the Bearcats got revenge by defeating the Bucs 4-2 and 9-6 in two seven-inning games on Sunday afternoon at Howard Johnson Field.
   "I'm very frustrated as a coach right now," ETSU head coach Tony Skole said. "We've done everything possible to try and motivate our guys. If there's a motivational tape they've got, we've tried it.
   "These guys are a different bunch. Sometimes they come ready to play, and other times they don't. It's very frustrating. That's my job as a coach, and I feel like I'm letting them down because I'm not getting them ready to play everyday."
   The Bucs were trailing 1-0 in the first contest going into the bottom of the third, but a triple by Tim Turner scored Caleb Moore to tie the game at 1-1.
   Matt Traylor was the next batter, and he put the Bucs on top with a single that scored Turner to make it a 2-1 Buccaneer lead.
   Binghamton did rally back with a run in the top of the fifth to tie the contest at 2-2, but it was the damage done in the sixth that spelled the end for the Bucs.
   With runners at first and second, pitcher Reid Casey was removed for reliever Jarrod Hyder. The first batter Hyder faced was hot-hitting Tony Berube, whose single brought in two runs to give Binghamton the 4-2 lead.
   The Bearcats never relinquished it en route to securing the win.
   The two runs in the sixth were charged to Casey, and he ended up getting the loss. Greg Sousa received the win for the Bearcats.
   Berube finished game one with a 4-for-4 effort, and had three RBI's. Nobody for ETSU had more than one hit.
   "We're not a very good team right now," Skole said. "We're not playing well on a consistent basis. We don't swing the bats very well. We struggle making the routine plays, and we struggle throwing strikes. When you add up all those things, it's not going to come out to a lot of wins."
   The Bucs were behind 2-1 in game two, but saw things really go bad in the top of the fourth. Binghamton scored seven runs in the inning on only two hits.
   Three walks, two ETSU errors, and one hit baseman were big reasons for the Bucs demise in that frame.
   "We work on fielding bunts and those things every day," Skole said. "We're not playing poorly because we're not prepared. Our kids are as prepared as they can be. We practice everything that could happen in a game. It's just our kids have a problem coming out and executing and performing under pressure."
   The Bucs did score two in the fourth and three in the fifth, but it wasn't enough to avoid getting swept.
   Turner was losing pitcher in game two, with Jacob Thiel getting the win for the Bearcats.
   Davis Burklin had two hits for the Bucs. Michael Giroud also netted two hits, and hit his first home run of the season.
   The Bearcats improve to 6-11 on the season, while the Bucs fall to 7-14.
   Skole is desperately searching for answers.
   "We just don't have anybody right now that's getting that hit to drive that run in or making a good pitch to get a guy out or making that good play to end an inning," Skole said. "We're struggling with that right now. We've just got to keep working."