JU (16-15, 8-5), which owned a 15-0 record this season when holding a lead in the ninth, could not take advantage of five errors and seven walks allowed by ETSU (18-11, 7-3).
With two outs and a runner on first, the Bucs drew two consecutive walks before Kerry Doane dropped a two-run single to left to tie the game. In the next at-bat, Cory Betterson laced a single to right to score the eventual game winning run from third.
“This is a gut check for us after losing a game this way,” said JU head coach Terry Alexander. “We have to be ready to battle tomorrow and show what we are made of. The first game is always important but we have two more games left in this series.”
Junior Chris Kaminski (3-4) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in two innings of relief. Junior Matt Loosen got the no-decision despite allowing only two runs on nine hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in seven innings.
Scott McNally (5-1) got the win after hurling one inning of scoreless relief before Bo Burton closed the ninth for his fourth save. Chas Byrne also got the no-decision after allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits with five walks and four strikeouts in seven innings.
Junior right fielder Esterlin Perozo led JU by going 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Doane led the Bucs by going 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Paul Hoilman also went 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI.
JU took a 1-0 lead in the second when freshman designated hitter Adam Brett Walker hit an RBI single through the right side.
ETSU evened things up in the top of the third when Matthew Scruggs hit a solo home run to right center.
The Dolphins took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Perozo hit an RBI double to right center.
The Bucs threatened in the sixth with runners on second and third with one out but Loosen got Michael Gonzalez and Garrett May to both strike out swinging to end the inning.
Tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh, the Bucs error count finally caught up with them as senior first baseman Alex Martinez hit a two-run double into the right field corner with two outs. The inning seemed to be over but ETSU third baseman Bo Reeder dropped an infield fly off the bat of junior shortstop Jamaal Hawkins.
The Dolphins will conclude their series with ETSU with a doubleheader at John Sessions Stadium beginning on Saturday at 1 p.m. Both games can be followed on Live Stats by logging onto JUDolphins.com.