JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 12, 2003) - The potent offense of College of Charleston had big innings in the sixth and seventh frames Saturday afternoon against East Tennessee State and held on to take game two in a three-game SoCon weekend series, 14-7, from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
With the win, the Cougars raise their record to 21-14, 9-5 in Southern Conference games. The Buccaneers fall to 10-20, 6-10 in conference matchups.
For the second consecutive game, the Cougars jumped out to an early lead, scoring two runs in both the first and second innings. Left fielder Brett Gardner led off the game by reaching on an error then stealing second. Second baseman Lee Curtis then reached on a fielder's choice, advancing Gardner to third. Gardner scored on a subsequent single by first baseman Stanley Nix. The next batter, catcher Matt Lauderdale singled to center, scoring Curtis.
The Cougars got their leadoff man on again in the second as center fielder Brett Spivey singled. He advanced to second on a ground out then stole third. He came home on a double to left center by Gardner, who would score his second run of the game on a fielder's choice by Curtis.
The Buccaneers would cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs. Freshman right fielder Beau Alford (Johnson City, Tenn.) led off the inning with a single, followed by a single by freshman first baseman Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.). The runners each then advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by freshman third baseman Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.). A sacrifice fly by junior left fielder Bo Calloway (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored Alford, while Calicutt came home on a two-out double by sophomore second baseman Justin Clear (LaFollette, Tenn.).
East Tennessee State scored another run in the bottom of the fourth to trim the Cougar lead to just one. Calicutt led the inning off with a bunt single, moved to second on a balk, then advanced to third on another sac bunt by Byrne. With one out, Calloway singled to left field to bring home Calicutt.
College of Charleston took a 10-3 lead by scoring six runs on six hits in the top of the sixth. Gardner walked to lead off the inning, moved to third on a single by designated hitter Mark Lyons, and scored on a double-play grounder by Curtis. With two outs and no baserunners, the Cougars rallied for five runs, capped by a grand slam homer by Spivey.
The Bucs tried to creep back into the game in the bottom of the sixth as Alford started a rally with a homer over the right field fence to lead off the inning. But ETSU could not produce any more runs, as the inning ended with the bases loaded after Spivey made a diving catch in center on a line drive by sophomore catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.).
The Cougars scored four more runs in the top of the seventh to make the score 14-4. The big blow of that frame was a two-run double by Nix that scored Lyons and Curtis. Nix came home on a triple by Lauderdale, who then scored when third baseman Adam Tolman reached on an error.
The Bucs loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh as sophomore designated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a leadoff double, junior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) walked and Alford reached on an error. ETSU scored two runs to cut the College of Charleston lead to 14-6 as Turner and Alford both came home on an error.
ETSU closed out Saturday's scoring by plating a run in the bottom of the ninth. Turner walked with one out, stole second and advanced to third on an error. He then came home on a ground out by Calicutt.
Cougar starter Reid Price (3-3) picked up the win after pitching five innings and allowing four runs on 10 hits. Buccaneer junior Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) (2-5) was charged with the loss after also pitching five innings, and allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits and walking three.
The third and final game in the weekend series between East Tennessee State and College of Charleston is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.