Johnson City, Tenn. (April 27, 2002) - East Tennessee State and Appalachian State's baseball teams took turns beating up on each other this afternoon, with the Mountaineers taking a 13-3 win in the first game of the Southern Conference doubleheader. The Buccaneers came back to capture the nightcap with a 13-4 win.
Appalachian State (14-26, 8-14 SoCon) scored in each of the first five innings in game one to put that contest away early. Chris Downard, who hit for the cycle in the game, started ASU off with a two-run home run in the first inning. The Mountaineers scored single runs in the second and third off ETSU starter Donnie Sharp (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) before putting together a five-run fourth that sealed the Bucs fate. Brian Chapman and Justin Thomas started the inning with back-to-back doubles. With another run home, runners on the corners and two outs, Jackson Simerly (Bluff City, Tenn.) came on to pitch for ETSU, but gave up a run scoring double to Downard and a two-RBI single to Eric Pittman.
ETSU (17-24, 10-10 SoCon) managed a run in the third on an RBI single by Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) and two in the fifth on Mike Giroud's (St. Petersburg, Fla.) single with runners on second and third, but that would be all that the Bucs could muster on the day. ETSU banged out 10 hits, but stranded 12 runners during the contest. Monty Fast started and got the win for ASU, allowing all three runs in 4.1 innings, with David Batten throwing 4.2 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the save.
In game two ETSU took advantage of six Appalachian State errors en route to its easy win. The Bucs cranked it up early, scoring five times in the first. With one out Jeremy Terry (Cumberland, Ky.), Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.) and Moore all singled to produce the first run of the game. Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.) attempted to bunt the runners over, but the Mountaineer catcher threw wildly into left trying to nail Cross, allowing two runs to score. After a Giroud RBI single, Giroud stole second and moved to third on another error on the ASU catcher. He then scored on a groundout by Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.) and the Bucs never looked back.
ETSU starter Reid Casey (Kingsport, Tenn.) took things from there; setting down the first 15 hitters he faced until giving up a leadoff single in the sixth. He wound up going seven innings on his way to his seventh win of the season, allowing just two earned runs and four hits.
Moore drove home another run in the second before the Bucs put the game away with three runs in the third and fourth. Ryan Hyder (Erwin, Tenn.) started the third by reaching on an error. He moved to second on a single by Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) before scoring on a single by Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.). Turner also scored on the play when the center fielder's throw got past third. Traylor then came home on a fielder's choice play off the bat of Terry.
ASU scored four runs in the eighth on three hits and an ETSU error, with the highlight a two-run double from Geoff Brooks, but it was too little too late, and the Bucs had the split.
Giroud had a total of five hits in the two games, driving in three runs. Moore also drove in three runs for the Bucs, while Cross added four hits.
The two teams will finish off the series tomorrow in Boone with a single game starting at 1:00 p.m.