Johnson City, Tenn. (May 12, 2002) - East Tennessee State put on a power show for Mother's Day, launching three home runs, including a grand slam by Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) as the Buccaneers overpowered Western Carolina 16-10 in Southern Conference baseball action at Cardinal Park this afternoon.
At first it looked as if it would be a long afternoon for the Bucs, as Western Carolina scored five times in the first, all with two out. ETSU starter Donnie Sharp (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) retired the first two hitters he faced before Ryan Schade beat out an infield hit that got things going. The next four Catamounts got base hits, including a two-run double from Todd Buchanan, as WCU built a 4-0 lead. The Catamounts then took advantage of an ETSU error to pick up another run to make it 5-0.
Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the bottom of the inning with his fourth home run of the season to get one back. The Bucs then loaded the bases in the second on an error, a fielder's choice and a hit batter to set the stage for Turner, who's fly ball to right just cleared the wall for ETSU's first slam of the season.
Western Carolina took a 6-5 lead with a run in the third and then added to it with three more scores in the fourth. The Cats got runners on second and third with one out when Donovan Minero singled home the first run of the inning. Josh Kite (Greenville, Tenn.) then came on to pitch for ETSU and allowed a bases loaded single to Clint Ramsey that scored two runs to give WCU a 9-5 lead.
ETSU got one back in the bottom of the inning on Jeremy Terry's (Cumberland, Ky.) RBI single before taking the lead for good with five runs in the fifth. The Bucs loaded the bases with one out for Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.) who brought home the first run on a fielder's choice ball to short. Turner knocked in another run before the Bucs again loaded the bases. Terry then drew a walk to force home one run and Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.) followed with a single to left that scored two more to make it 11-9 in favor of ETSU.
Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.) led off the sixth with a home run to make it 12-9 before Western came back with a run in the seventh on a Brian Sigman ground out to cut the ETSU lead back to two runs.
ETSU put the game out of reach with a four-run eighth. The Bucs again loaded the bases with one out on a single, an error and an intentional walk. Clear came up with another RBI, this time squeezing home Bryan Crouse (Kingston, Tenn.). Keithley came home on a wild pitch by WCU's Joe Camac before Terry brought home the final two runs with a single to left.
Kite earned the win for ETSU, throwing 1.2 innings in relief of Sharp, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Mike Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.) and Jackson Simerly (Bluff City, Tenn.) mopped up with two innings of work each, with Simerly going the final two to earn his second save. Rob Hoover, WCU's second pitcher of the afternoon, took the loss, allowing three runs and five hits in his inning of work.
Turner went 3-for-4 with five RBIs and four runs to lead the 15-hit ETSU attack. Terry and Traylor each went 3-for-5, with Terry driving home four and Traylor scoring a pair. Western was led by Ramsey who had a 3-for-5 day with four RBIs. Buchanon was 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored as Western put up 15 hits on the board. Both teams stranded nine runners.
East Tennessee State will play its final non-conference games of the season with a doubleheader at Morehead State on Tuesday, May 14, with the games slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.