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Kyle Pitts hit his first career home run on Friday.
by: Stetson University
Hatters Fall in A-Sun Opener at ETSU
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  03/21/2014
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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn.—Kyle Pitts had three hits, including his first career home run, but Stetson dropped its Atlantic Sun Conference opener to East Tennessee State, falling 7-4, Friday at Thomas Stadium.

The Hatters (7-15, 0-1) owned a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. But the Buccaneers (10-11, 1-0) scored three in the sixth and four more in the seventh to seize control of the game.

Pitts, a junior third baseman, gave Stetson a 1-0 lead when he turned on the first pitch of the third inning from ETSU starting pitcher Austin Hutchison and knocked the ball over the left-center field fence for a 1-0 lead.

The Hatters made it 2-0 in the sixth. Shortstop Tyler Bocock led off with a double and scored three batters later on a single by catcher Garrett Russini.

Stetson starter Austin Perez held ETSU in check through the first five innings, but it all came apart for him and the Hatters in the sixth.

The Bucs sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth. Chris Cook had an RBI double, Tyler Roach hit an RBI single, and Kevin Phillips capped the inning with a two-out, 2-run single off reliever Josh Thorne for a 4-2 lead.

ETSU took a 7-2 lead in the seventh. Clinton Freeman greeted reliever Adam Schaly with an RBI single to make it 5-2. After a walk to Chris Riopedre, Ben Rakus relieved Schaly and issued a bases-loaded walk to force home another run to make it 6-2.  With the bases still full, Rakus was called for a balk, forcing in the final run of the frame.

Stetson was kept off the scoreboard until the Hatters mounted a rally in the ninth. Russini walked with one out and right fielder Robert Bruce laced a two-out single. Pitts followed with a single and Russini scored on an error by the shortstop to get the Hatters within 7-3. Kyle Zech pinch hit and drove in Bruce with a single to make it 7-4, but with two on and two out Bocock struck out looking to end the game.

Pitts was the only Hatter with more than one hit as Stetson collected eight base hits for the game. Perez (0-4) was charged with four runs on six hits in 5.2 innings. He struck out three batters and walked just one.

Hutchison (2-1) tossed a complete game for the Bucs, scattering eight hits and allowing just three earned runs. He fanned six and walked three.

The Hatters and Bucs will play a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday.


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