Johnson City, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State's Ed Sparks went 2-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Bucs in a 13-12 win against Belmont at ETSU's Cardinal Park. The hit parade included 38 hits, but only six extra-base hits.
Belmont (27-25) opened the game with four consecutive knocks. Luke Hansen and Grant Martin both singled before a Jerrod Smith double scored Hansen. Josh Brummett followed with a single that plated Martin. ETSU starter Shannon Carter closed the door on the Bruins with a double play and a strikeout.
The Bucs struck back with three runs in the home half of the first. After a Jeremy Terry walk and a Danny Pugh single, Sparks doubled to left field that scored the pair. A Chad Boruff walk and a Raymond McBride single loaded the bases. Nathan Copeland bounced into a fielder's choice that scored Sparks to give the Bucs a 3-2 lead.
ETSU (19-27) scored seven runs on six hits in the bottom of the second. Matt Nunley had two hits, one RBI and one run scored in the frame. Boruff also added a two-run single. Belmont closed the gap to 10-6 with four runs in the top of the third. The Bruins had six singles, including four in a row, in the frame.
In the fourth inning, Sparks recorded his fourth RBI with his second double of the game that gave the Bucs a 12-7 lead. The Bucs added one in the fifth before Belmont scored three in the top of the sixth to make the score 13-10. The Bruins could have been closer but left fielder McBride cut down Belmont's Mike Martin attempting to score on a Jesse Colbert single to end the inning.
For the first time in the game the Bucs failed to score, in the bottom of the sixth. Belmont got within two runs in the seventh with a Luke Hansen run.
ETSU reliever Jackson Simerly came on in the eighth and set down the Bruins. However, in the ninth Hansen homered to make the score 13-12. Simerly struck out the next two Bruins to earn his fifth save of the season.
Nunley, Terry and Pugh all collected three hits for the Bucs. Carter improved to 2-3 on the season, while Belmont starter Jason Anderegg fell to 6-8 with the loss.
The Bucs will return to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10 against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga.