JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2004) - The East Tennessee State baseball team earned their first two wins of the 2004 season as they swept a doubleheader from Xavier Saturday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Bucs (2-5) received great pitching performances in both games, as the Bucs won a 4-3 thriller in game one and came away with a 6-1 victory in game two.
In game one, the Bucs and Musketeers (0-2) were scoreless until ETSU scored two runs in the bottom of the third. The Buccaneers loaded the bases with no outs on a single by senior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.), a walk by sophomore left fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) and a bunt single by sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.). Turner would score the first run of the game on a wild pitch, and Traylor would score on a one-out RBI groundout by sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.).
ETSU added a run to their lead with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) hit a double to left field then scored on a subsequent single by Turner.
ETSU sophomore starter Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) was cruising after receiving a three-run cushion until Xavier stormed back to tie the game in the sixth.
Musketeer catcher Eric Armstrong was hit by a pitch to begin the inning and was pinch-run for by Jason Morelli. Morelli advanced to second on an error then scored on a two-out single by right fielder Steve Sakosits. The next batter, center fielder Jay Johnson, tied the score with one swing as he hit a two-run homer over the right field wall.
But the Bucs would come back in dramatic fashion to score the winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled to center with one out, and advanced to third on a single by junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.). During the next at-bat, Moore started for second and when Xavier's catcher attempted to throw him out, Glafenhein dashed home from third.
Moore then finished a busy first game by coming on to pitch and earning his first save of the season with a strong final inning of relief.
Hall (1-2) earned his first collegiate victory after several tough-luck losses, pitching six innings and allowing three runs on three hits and striking out four. Sean Finnegan (0-1) was charged with the loss for the Musketeers after allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings pitched.
Byrne and Turner led the Bucs with two hits in game one while Johnson paced Xavier with two hits and two RBIs.
Xavier got on the board first in game two, as Johnson again went deep with a two-out solo home run over the right field wall.
But the Bucs responded immediately, scoring five runs in the next three innings. ETSU loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the first on walks by Traylor and Byrne and a fielder's choice by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.). Church came to the plate and singled to center to drive in Byrne and Traylor. Howdeshell scored later in the inning when Glafenhein hit into a double play.
Moore and Turner led off the second with back-to-back walks then moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by junior third baseman Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.). Moore would then come home to make the score 4-0 as Byrne hit into a fielder's choice.
Howdeshell led off the third with a double off of the center field wall. After a single by Church and a walk by freshman designated hitter Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.), Howdeshell scored as Moore reached on a fielder's choice.
The Bucs scored the final run of the game as Moore belted his second home run of the season over the right-center field wall to lead off the bottom of the fifth.
Sophomore lefty Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) turned in his second-consecutive excellent start, allowing one run on three hits in six innings pitched. Calicutt (1-0) also struck out six Musketeer batters on the afternoon. Xavier starter Bill Konecny (0-1) was charged with the loss, pitching 2.2 innings and allowing five runs (three earned) on three hits and walking six.
Church led the Bucs at the plate with a game-high three hits while Howdeshell and Moore each scored twice. Johnson had another strong game for the Musketeers, going 2-for-3 with the team's only RBI and run scored.
"We were very fortunate to get two solid pitching performances from Jeremy Hall and Steven Calicutt this afternoon which enabled us to come away with two victories," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the games. "I am very pleased with our defense and the quality of our pitching. Steven and Jeremy battled, threw strikes, and kept us in the game."
Athough the Bucs swept today's doubleheader, the team left 14 men on base between the two games.
"We are not a very good offensive baseball team right now because we have left too many runners on base and we are not producing," said Skole. "If we continue like this, it will catch up with us."
The Bucs and Musketeers return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for another doubleheader from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.