JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 27, 2003) - East Tennessee State scattered a season-high 20 hits off of five Davidson pitchers as ETSU (13-27, 9-14 SoCon) handily defeated the Wildcats 16-3 at Howard Johnson Field Sunday.
The Wildcats (15-22, 9-14) got on the scoreboard early when Eli Benefield crossed home plate in the top of the first inning on a Buccaneer error. However, ETSU responded in the bottom half of the frame with sophomore Caleb Moore's (Knoxville, Tenn.) two-run homer over the left field fence to give the hosts a 2-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the second inning the Buccaneer hitters came back for more off of Davidson starting pitcher Matt Hood. ETSU rallied for seven runs in the inning highlighted by a Jordan Abromovitz (South Park, Pa.) grand slam. The grand slam homerun was Abromovitz's second of the three game series.
Davidson struck again in the top of the fourth. Sam Navarro led off the inning with a single to right field and later scored on Erskine Wells' double-play ground ball to ETSU shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) to make the score 9-2 in favor of the Bucs.
As the ETSU bats kept producing runs, starting pitcher Jarrod Hyder (Elizabethton, Tenn.) was quietly hurling his way to his sixth win of the season. Hyder, who now owns a 6-1 record on the mound, gave up a one-out double to Davidson's Alex Entrekin in the top of the seventh and Brett Peiffer followed with a RBI single to make the score 13-3, but that was all the runs Hyder would allow. He struck out the next batter and got Benefield to ground out to third base to end the inning.
Hyder finished the day with five strikeouts and two earned runs, while surrendering eight hits in seven innings of work. Sophomore left-hander Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) relieved Hyder in the eighth and went on to pitch two innings of scoreless baseball.
Leading the Bucs at the plate was centerfielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) who went 4-for-5, including two bunts for singles in his first two at-bats and also drove in a pair of runs. Two Science Hill High School alums put together strong offensive efforts as well. Freshman designated hitter Beau Alford (Johnson City, Tenn.) finished 3-for-4 and freshman third baseman Shane Bryne (Johnson City, Tenn.) collected three hits in six at-bats, including two RBIs.
Benefield, Navarro, and Entrekin had two hits apiece to lead the Wildcats, who garnered 11 hits as a team. Davidson will host Furman in a crucial three-game series May 2-4, as the Wildcats and ETSU are battling for the eighth and final spot in the Southern Conference tournament.
ETSU, which took two out of three games from Davidson during the series, will play Virginia Tech in the "Kingsport Baseball Classic" on Tuesday, April 29. The game is set to start at 7 p.m. at Hunter W. Wright Baseball Stadium in Kingsport. The Buccaneers will be looking for redemption after falling to the Hokies 12-4 earlier this season.