DAVIDSON, N.C. (Mar. 7, 2004) - Davidson broke open a pitchers duel with four runs in the bottom of the sixth and went on to defeat East Tennessee State, 4-1, Sunday afternoon from Wildcat Park in Davidson, N.C. With the win, the Wildcats also won the first Southern Conference series of the season over the Bucs, two games to one.
Both starting pitchers were impressive early, as ETSU's Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) allowed just one hit and struck out six through the first three innings. Davidson's Brian Akin did not allow his first hit until the top of the fourth, but it turned out to be costly.
Buccaneer sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) laced a double off of the right-center field wall with one out. He moved to third on a ground out by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) then scored on a wild pitch.
Davidson stormed ahead, scoring four runs in a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth. Catcher Alex Entrekin doubled to centerfield followed by a walk to third baseman Jay Heafner. Both runners would come in to score on a double by first baseman Alden Crissey. Crissey would cross the plate as designated hitter Gregory Zage reached on an error. Zage scored the final run of the inning as left fielder Brett Peiffer hit a double to center.
ETSU threatened to get back on the board in the top of the eighth, as freshman designated hitter Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) hit a one-out single and sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) followed by reaching on an error. But Heafner came on in relief for the Wildcats and retired the final two batters of the inning on fly balls.
Akin (2-0) had a very strong performance Sunday, going seven innings and allowing one earned run on just two hits while striking out three. Heafner went the final two innings for his second save of the season, allowing one hit and striking out two over the final two innings.
Turner (2-2) pitched very well, but was charged with the loss. Turner went 5.2 innings and allowed four hits, two earned runs and a season-high seven strikeouts. Freshman righty Brandon Summey (Kingsport, Tenn.) pitched excellent in relief, tossing 2.1 innings and allowing no baserunners while striking out four.
Byrne, Douglas and sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) each had hits for the Bucs this afternoon. Crissey led the Wildcats at the plate with two RBIs while Peiffer added one.
East Tennessee State returns home Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when they will face in-state rival Tennessee Tech from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.