Davidson, N.C. (May 5, 2002) - East Tennessee State scored six runs in the first two
innings to cruise to an 8-3 victory over the host Wildcats in game one of today's Southern Conference baseball doubleheader. In game two Davidson game back with a 3-1 victory over the Bucs at Wildcat Park. Davidson improved to 20-27 and 12-14 in the Southern Conference, while ETSU saw its record go to 18-26 and 11-12 in the league.
In the nightcap, the Wildcats got on the board in the third when freshman Sam Navarro opened the frame with a single to center, and fellow freshman Eli Benefield followed with a double to left. But Davidson was able to score just one run when senior Stephen Aldrich grounded to second, plating Navarro.
Derrick Wolpert (2-1) allowed just a single and walk while striking out four through the first three innings before running into trouble in the fourth. Brandon Cross led off the inning with a solo home run to right-center, his fourth home run of the season. The Bucs also banged out three singles and walked in the inning, but a timely double play kept them scoring again.
Wildness cost Buc starter Tim Turner (3-4) in the bottom half of the fourth, as he walked four in the frame, including Benefield and Aldrich with the bases loaded.
East Tennessee State got lead-off doubles in the fifth and sixth innings - the latter chasing Wolpert from the game, but could not capitalize on either scoring opportunity. Akin earned his second save of the season with two scoreless innings, including the three strikeouts in the ninth.
The Bucs peppered Wildcat hurler Mark Wells (5-6) to start the afternoon. Six singles and an error led to four runs in the first, followed by a two-run home run in the second by Matt Traylor for a quick 6-0 ETSU lead. The homer for Traylor was his third of the year.
Senior James Marino got the 'Cats on the board in the first with a solo shot to right-center, his fifth of the season. But a solo homer by the Bucs' Michael Giroud, his second, and an unearned run in the sixth gave ETSU an 8-1 advantage.
Benefield got two runs back for Davidson in the seventh with his second home run of the year, a two-run shot to left. Three times in the game the Wildcats loaded the bases with two outs, but never could get the clutch hit.
Reid Casey (8-4) pitched 8.1 innings to earn the victory. He struggled at times with his
control walking six, but he allowed just seven hits and three runs while striking out five.
Traylor went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs to lead the 12-hit Buccaneer attack.
East Tennessee State next plays at home on Tuesday against UNC Asheville at 7 p.m.