TROY, Ala. -- An 18-hit offensive effort gave the East Tennessee State baseball team the push it needed to take the third and final game of a weekend series, 15-11, against Troy State at Riddle-Pace Field on Sunday.
The Bucs (2-3) opened up the scoring in the first inning with second baseman Brandon Cross homering in his first time at the plate for the game. East Tennessee State's Jeremy Skidmore drilled in two more runs with a single up the middle in the top of second inning. In the same inning, Cross then nailed his second home run of the day in his second at bat, putting the Bucs ahead, 5-0.
The Trojans (3-3) then answered in the bottom of the second with a six-run inning to take the lead. Collin Holder, a junior from Montgomery, Ala., scored Troy State's first run after a wild pitch by the Bucs' starting pitcher Tim Turner. With two outs and the bases loaded, senior Casey Smith, a native of Cottonwood, Ala., drove in two more runs for the Trojans with a single up the middle. Ozark, Ala., native Drew Miller tied up the game with a two-run double to center. Junior Josh Kendrick then gave Troy State its first lead of the game with a RBI single through the right side of the field.
East Tennessee State tied up the game once again in the top of the fourth inning after a wild pitch by starter Aaron Kirkland.
Troy State took the lead back in its next at bat, with a three-run home run by Holder, his second of the season.
A four-run sixth inning gave the Bucs their second lead of the game. Trojan reliever Erik Wikstrom, a freshman from Roseville, Minn., moved a runner on third home due to a balk to score East Tennessee State's eighth run of the game. A pair of hits by the Bucs' Cross and Andy Baxter produced three more runs to put them ahead 11-9 in the top of the sixth.
Holder, who went 4-for-5 for the game, had his second home run of the day in the bottom of the seventh inning to narrow the Bucs' lead to one run over the Trojans.
Freshman Wade Miller had a RBI single through the left side in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie up the game, 11-11.
The Trojans held the Bucs scoreless in the top of the ninth, but were forced to go into extra innings after failing to produce a winning run in the bottom of the inning.
The Bucs then sealed up the victory with a four-run tenth inning and holding Troy State in its final at bat.
Jackson Simerly (1-1) earned the win on the mound for East Tennessee State after throwing the final six innings of the game. Simerly allowed six hits and two earned runs while facing 24 batters.
Wikstrom received the loss for the Trojans, allowing six earned runs and seven hits in four and one-thirds innings.