Greensboro, N.C. (March 15, 2002) - East Tennessee State built a 9-2 lead and then held off a late UNC Greensboro rally as the Buccaneers took a 9-8 SoCon baseball win over the Spartans this evening at UNCG Stadium. It was the first road and the first conference win this season for ETSU.
ETSU (6-8, 1-3 SoCon) took an early lead when the Bucs picked up a run in the second after two were out. Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.) singled, stole second and scored on Chad Boruff's (Knoxville, Tenn.) single up the middle to make it 1-0.
UNCG scored single runs in the third and fourth on an RBI single from Justin Saltalamacchia and an RBI groundout by Justin Lee.
An RBI double by Jeremy Terry (Cumberland, Ky.) in the fifth tied the game before the Bucs took the lead for good with three scores in the sixth. Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off with a bloop double to right center and moved to third on a sacrifice by Keithley. Boruff then parked a pitch over the wall in left center for his first home run of the year for a 4-2 ETSU lead. With two out Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) reached on an error by UNCG's shortstop. He then stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and then scored on a bouncer up the middle by Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.).
ETSU took what looked like a safe 9-2 lead with four more runs in the seventh. Moore started things with his first career home run and Turner later followed with a two-run single that finished off the uprising.
Starter Reid Casey (Kingsport, Tenn.) had a strong outing for the Bucs, allowing only two runs over the first seven innings before surrendering a two-run home run to Ryan Gordon in the eighth. He allowed nine hits in his eight innings of work, striking out eight to improve to 3-1 on the season.
Jackson Simerly (Bluff City, Tenn.) started the ninth and got in trouble from the get go, giving up a single and an RBI triple to Kirk Strebin. Simerly allowed a sac fly and got one strikeout, but gave up two walks and a pinch-hit RBI single to Daniel Ward that cut the Buccaneer lead to 9-7. Jarrod Hyder (Elizabethton, Tenn.) then came on, giving up a run-scoring single to Mike McClain before getting Ryan Galligan on a grounder to third to pick up his first save of the season and end the game.
Boruff and Traylor led the 16-hit ETSU attack, each going 3-for-5. Boruff drove in three runs for the Bucs and scored twice, while Traylor drove in one, scored once and stole two bases. Saltalamacchia led UNCG, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Jay Metzger, the Spartans second pitcher, took the loss, allowing three runs, two earned, in just 1.1 innings of work.