Johnson City, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State used a five-run sixth inning to propel themselves to a 5-4 win against Western Carolina at ETSU's Cardinal Park. With the win, ETSU earned its first ever three-game series sweep of Western Carolina. The Bucs defeated the Catamounts 12-6 on April 14 and 3-2 on April 15.
Ryan McKinney went 2-4 -- two doubles -- with two RBIs and one run scored to lead the Buccaneer offense. Chuck Dewald went 1-2 with the game-winning single. Western was led by Charlie Wands who went 2-3 with two runs scored and Tracy Biggs who went 3-4.
Wands began the game with a double down the left field line. He later scored on a Morgan Frazier ground-out. Frazier recorded two more RBIs in the third with a double that plated Charles Thomas and Wands.
The game remained 3-0 until the home half of the sixth when Chad Boruff belted his seventh home run of the season. With Ed Sparks on first, Boruff ripped Jared Burton's 1-0 offering over the left-field wall. After a Nathan Copeland double and a Raymond McBride walk, Burton was relieved by Ryan Foster. McKinney greeted Foster with a two-run double into right field that gave the Bucs a 4-3 lead. McKinney later scored on Dewald's game-winning single.
ETSU starter Jarrod Hyder (6.0 innings, three runs, seven hits) was cruising into the seventh when a Tracy Biggs line drive hit him in the right leg. Hyder was replaced by Jackson Simerly. Western Carolina rallied for a run that closed the score to 5-4. After a Chris Torres pinch-hit double, Thomas plated Biggs on a ground out.
Simerly worked the final three innings, allowing three hits and no runs, to earn his third save of the season. Hyder improved to 1-1 with the win. WCU's Burton slipped to 1-3 on the season.
The Cats' Rod Goldston went 0-4 and snapped his 20-game hit streak.
"This was a huge weekend for us," head coach Tony Skole said. "It will give us some confidence and momentum to build on for the rest of the season."
The Bucs will return to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Arpil 18 when they play at Radford.