GREENSBORO, N.C. (Mar. 7, 2003) - Buccaneer sophomore outfielder Kevin Brotherton (Erwin, Tenn.) went 2-for-4 with three RBI and freshman third baseman Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI to lead ETSU past UNCG, 8-1, in the Southern Conference opener for both teams Friday night at UNCG Baseball Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. The loss snapped the Spartans' school-record 12-game winning streak.
The Bucs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. sophomore catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached second base after Kirk Strebin dropped a fly ball. After junior outfielder Bo Calloway's (Knoxville, Tenn.) sacrifice bunt, sophomore designated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) grounded out to the right side, scoring Moore.
ETSU would add two runs in the fifth inning. Byrne led off the fifth with a single and moved to second following sophomore shortstop Justin Clear's (LaFollette, Tenn.) sacrifice bunt. After junior outfielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) flied out, moving Byrne to third, Brotherton singled home Byrne. Brotherton then stole second and scored on junior second baseman Andy Howdeshell's (Maryville, Tenn.) RBI triple to the left centerfield gap giving the Bucs a three-run cushion.
ETSU added four more in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. Byrne and Brotherton each added two-run singles in the inning.
Bucs' junior starter Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) (2-2) made the lead stand and kept UNCG off the scoreboard for 5.1 innings. The Spartans did manage five hits and also benefited from five walks, but UNCG stranded 12 on the day, including 10 in the first six innings. The Spartans would strand 12 on the night.
Senior reliever Jarrod Hyder (Elizabethton, Tenn.) tossed the final 3.2 innings and registered his second save of the season. Hyder allowed just a pair of hits and one unearned run.
UNCG's Scooter Michael (3-1) was charged with the loss. Michael went 5.0 innings, struckout four and walked one. The All-American gave up five hits and three runs, two of which were earned. Prior to the two earned runs in the fourth inning, Michael had not yielded an earned run against ETSU in 13-innings of work. The right-hander tossed a four-hit shutout in a 2002 SoCon Tournament victory over ETSU last season.
Spartan Jarrett Santos had his first poor outing of the season. Santos went just 1.0 inning and was charged with four earned runs on four hits. Patrick Currin tossed 0.1 innings and was charged with an earned run, before Jonathan Nichols tossed 2.2 scoreless innings. Nichols fanned six along the way.
Moore chipped in with three hits for ETSU. The catcher also scored a pair of runs.
Justin Saltalamacchia was the lone Spartans with more than one hit. Saltalamacchia went 3-for-5.
The Bucs and the Spartans return to action Saturday afternoon for the second-game of the three-game series. First-pitch at UNCG Baseball Stadium in Greensboro, N.C. is scheduled for 1 p.m.