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Longwood rallies past Bucs, 6-4, in home season opener

Published: Sunday, February 16, 2014

Updated: Sunday, February 16, 2014 23:02

Despite holding a pair of two-run leads early on, the ETSU baseball team couldn’t hold off a scrappy Longwood club as the Lancers spoiled the Buccaneer season opener by rallying past the Blue and Gold, 6-4, on Sunday afternoon at Thomas Stadium.

The Bucs got productive at-bats from juniors Chris Riopedre and Zach Thompson as they combined for five of ETSU’s 10 hits on the day and also accounted for all four RBI.

Thompson drove in the first run of the season with an RBI double in the second, while he later scored on a single by Riopedre.

Meanwhile, Riopedre put the Blue and Gold back up by a pair of runs with a two-run home run in the fourth. Riopedre went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Thompson was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Riopedre’s three hits and three RBI tied career highs for the junior infielder.

Senior Clinton Freeman suffered the loss as he was charged with five runs (three earned) on nine hits, while striking out five and walking none.

However, Longwood right-hander Aaron Myers out-dueled the Buccaneer southpaw as he issued four runs on nine hits and struck out seven in eight innings of work to earn the win.

Sophomore righty Travis Burnette escaped a jam in the ninth to earn the save.

As a team, the Lancers out-hit the Bucs, 11-10, while a pair of fielding miscues came back to haunt the Bucs.

Longwood used a passed ball by freshman Gage Downey to later score an unearned run in the fifth, while a two-out throwing error by junior Jordan Sanford plated the game-winning run in the seventh for the Lancers.

The teams finish the series Monday afternoon with a doubleheader beginning at noon.

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