Johnson City, Tenn. (April 21, 2002) - Trailing 5-2, East Tennessee State outscored the College of Charleston 11-2 over the last four and a half innings to earn a 13-6 Southern Conference baseball win over the Cougars. Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.) drove in five runs to lead the Bucs to the win, including slamming a three-run home run in the sixth inning. The win, which gave ETSU a 2-1 series win, gives the Bucs eight wins in its last nine SoCon games.
Charleston (24-15, 10-8 SoCon) scored in its first at bat when the Cougars loaded the bases with a pair of walks around a double from their first three hitters. Brett Anderson then plated the first run of the contest with a sac fly.
ETSU (16-22, 9-9 SoCon) answered in its half of the first when Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off with a double and later scored on a ground out by Cross. The Bucs then took a 2-1 lead in the third when Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.) led off with a single and later scored on an RBI single to center by Jeremy Terry (Cumberland, Ky.).
Charleston regained the advantage with three runs in the fourth. The Cougars got base hits from its first two batters in the inning before Victor Martinez followed with a double to left that scored both runners. Brett Spivey later singled home Martinez to put Charleston up 4-2.
Trailing 5-2, ETSU began its comeback in the fifth, scoring three times to tie the game. After a pair of singles started the inning, Cross doubled home the first run, putting runners on second and third with one out. Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) brought home the next run with a ground out before Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.) beat out an infield hit to plate the final run of the frame.
Scott Rose (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.) led off the sixth with a single and was sacrificed to second. Charleston pulled starter Charlie Wentzky for Matthew Thompson to face John Gorton (Hinsdale, N.H.), who drew a walk. Traylor then singled home Rose before Terry filed out. Cross then slammed his third home run of the season to right and the Bucs never looked back.
Charleston got a run back in the eighth on an RBI single by Matt Lauderdale, but ETSU scored four more in the bottom of the inning to put the game away. Keithley drove in a pair with a single and Rose slammed his first home run of the season to highlight the eighth.
Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) won his third straight game on the mound for the Bucs, striking out 10 in seven innings, allowing all six runs on eight hits. Jarrod Hyder (Elizabethton, Tenn.) closed out the game for a second straight day, allowing just two hits over the final two frames. Wentzky took the loss for Charleston, allowing nine hits and six runs in 5.1 innings.
Cross was 2-for-4 on the day with a double and home run, scoring three times to go along with his five RBIs. Keithley went 3-for-4 and drove in three runs. Traylor also ended up with three hits for the Bucs. Brett Spivey led Charleston with three hits in four trips, driving in one run.
ETSU will step out of conference for its next contest, as the Buccaneers will face Virginia Tech in the Kingsport Classic on Tuesday, April 23. The game will be held at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport and will begin at 7:00 p.m.