March 13, 2006
The Bisons saw their winning streak snapped in an 8-6 loss to East Tennessee State on Friday, March 10. The game represented the beginning of conference play for the Bisons this season.
"It is always exciting when you open up conference weekend and ETSU was a very worthy opponent," head coach Wynn Fletcher said. "Their pitching did a good job keeping us off-balance today. I don't think we made enough adjustments early to counteract what [Ryan] Howe was trying to do."
Paul Piennette (1-2) got the start for the Bisons. In his last start at Florida A&M, Piennette pitched a five-hit complete game shut-out for the win. Piennette came into the game with an ERA of 7.04.
The Buccaneers used four hits, two singles and two doubles, to get to Piennette in the second, and take a 3-0 lead.
The Buccaneers added another run in the third on a sacrifice fly by C.J. Lee.
The Bisons got on the board in the bottom of the inning. Preston Embrey led off with a walk. Tadd Brewer followed with an infield single to third base. Two outs later, Zac Miller hit an RBI single to center field to bring the Bisons to within two.
The Bisons used three hits and two Buccaneers errors to take the lead in the seventh. With one out Embrey tripled to right center. Brewer reached on a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners. One out later, Nathan Sensing hit an infield single to third to bring Embrey to the plate. The next batter, Miller, hit a fly ball to left, which was dropped by the left fielder resulting in two Bisons runs. Caleb Joseph followed with an infield single to bring the score to 5-4.
The Buccaneers scored two runs on three hits in the eighth to retake the lead.
The Bisons tied the game at six in the bottom of the inning. Patrick O'Rourke led off with a single to right field and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Whit Reed. After O'Rourke stole third, Embrey popped out to catcher for the second out of the inning. Brewer followed with a double to left to bring O'Rourke to the plate.
Right-hander Josh Smith struck out the first two batters to begin the ninth. After allowing a two out walk to Justin Aughey, Chuck Hargis drilled a two run homer to dead center to give the Buccaneers an 8-6 lead, which would be the final.
"We got ourselves in a hole early," Fletcher said. "I was very proud of the way the guys fought their way back. The margin for error in conference play is small. You have to take advantage of opportunities and make the most of them. We had opportunities early and we didn't do a good job taking advantage of it. I am looking forward to another exciting game tomorrow."
The Bisons return to action tomorrow, Saturday, March 11 when they take on ETSU in the second game of the series at 2 p.m.