Boone, N.C. (April 28, 2002) - Appalachian State's Eric Pittman had four hits and drive in five runs as the Mountaineers jumped out to an early lead and then held off and East Tennessee State rally to take a 7-6 Southern Conference baseball win over the Bucs. The win gave ASU the series two games to one.
East Tennessee State (17-25, 10-11 SoCon) drew first blood in the third, loading the bases with one out. Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.) walked to start the inning and moved to third when John Gorton's (Hinsdale, N.H.) sacrifice attempt was thrown away by the ASU pitcher, Brian Chapman. Clear was caught in a run down on Matt Traylor's (Knoxville, Tenn.) fielder's choice, but the Bucs loaded the bases when Jeremy Terry (Cumberland, Ky.) drew another walk. Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.) singled home Gorton and Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) followed with a sac fly to deep center and ETSU had a 2-0 lead.
Appalachian State (15-26, 9-14 SoCon) wasted no time taking its first lead of the contest when Eric Pittman laced a ball over the wall in left with two runners on in the bottom of the third. The Mountaineers next hitter reached on an error by third baseman Mike Giroud (St. Petersburg, Fla.) before Chris Downard launched a shot over the wall in right, his second of the series, to give ASU had a 5-2 lead.
Pittman did it again for the Mountaineers in the fourth, lacing a two-run double to left center that bumped up the ASU lead to 7-2.
ETSU put together a two-out rally in the seventh, loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk that chased ASU starter Brian Chapman. Giroud greeted Mountaineer reliever Jeff Cox with a single up the middle that scored two runs. Chad Boruff (Knoxville, Tenn.) followed with a shot to short, but it was right at the shortstop who snared it to end the inning.
ETSU did again in the eighth, this time loading the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles. ASU got one out on a force at home before Cross delivered a two-run single to left, his third hit of the afternoon, that brought the Bucs back to within one at 7-6. That was all that ETSU would get, however, as Moore grounded into a double play that ended the inning.
Matt Wood, who struggled a bit in the eighth, set the Bucs down in order in the ninth to preserve the win for Appalachian State.
Cross led ETSU's offense, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Turner took the loss on the mound, allowing six earned runs and nine hits in seven innings. Chapman picked up the win for ASU, going 6.2 innings and allowing just two earned runs despite walking eight hitters. Pittman led ASU's offense, going 4-for-4 with a home run and a double, driving in five.
ETSU will take the next week off before traveling to Davidson for a three-game Southern Conference series with the Wildcats, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, May 4 at noon.