JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 19, 2005) - High Point scored 10 unanswered runs over the final five innings to rally for a 12-6 victory over East Tennessee State Thursday night from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The Panthers had 20 hits on the evening, as every player in the starting lineup had at least one.
The Panthers (19-34) got on the board first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Jeremy Neyra scored on a Randy Schwartz double.
EastTennesseeState (29-20) tied the game with a run in the bottom of the inning. Junior shortstop Chuck Hargis (Powell, Tenn.) hit an infield single and advanced to second on an error. With two outs in the inning, sophomore centerfielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) laced a single to left to bring Hargis home.
But High Point regained the lead with a run in the top of the second. Josh Cotten led off the inning with a single to center and later scored on an RBI triple by Justin Pinyan.
The Buccaneers then scored five runs over the next three frames to take a 6-2 advantage. In the bottom of the second, junior left fielder Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) forced in a run with a bases loaded walk. Hargis then came to the plate and came within inches of a grand slam, hitting a sacrifice fly to the wall in deep left.
ETSU scored a single run in the bottom of the third as senior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the inning with a double and scored on a subsequent single by Douglas.
The Bucs scored what would end up being their final two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Junior right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) drove in Calicutt with a double to right and Moore followed with an RBI single to left.
High Point then began its rally, beginning with two runs in the top of the fifth. Chris Ramirez led off the inning with a towering solo homer over the left field wall. Seby Renta later hit an RBI single to right, scoring Mark Shorey.
The Panthers tied the game at six with two more runs in the top of the sixth. Neyra singled up the middle with one out and Shorey belted a two-out two-run homer over the right field wall.
With four runs in the top of the seventh, High Point took the lead for good. Neyra hit a two-run double to left-center and two more runs crossed the plate as Shorey reached on an error.
The Panthers scored their final two runs as Cotton hit a solo home run to lead off the eighth and then hit an RBI single in the ninth.
Eammon Portice went the first seven innings for the Panthers to earn the win (6-4). He allowed six runs on eight hits, walking three and striking out five. Matt Kniginyzky pitched the final two innings for High Point, allowing just one baserunner on a walk and striking out one.
ETSU senior righty Michael Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.) was charged with the loss (3-3) for the Bucs, allowing four earned runs in one inning of work.
The Bucs were led at the plate by Douglas and Moore, who both went 2-for-5 on the evening.
Schwartz had a tremendous night for the Panthers, going 6-for-6 with an RBI. Cotton also went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and a run scored in the win.
The Bucs and Panthers play game two of their three-game series tomorrow evening at from CardinalPark in Johnson City, Tenn.