JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 11, 2003) - Friday's Southern Conference baseball matchup between East Tennessee State and College of Charleston was a pitchers' duel for the first six innings before the Cougars plated nine runs in the final three innings to defeat the Bucs, 11-2.
College of Charleston (20-14, 8-5 Southern Conference) opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the first. Left fielder Brett Gardner led off the game with a walk and moved to second as the next batter, designated hitter Matt Hallett was hit by a pitch. The runners would then advance to second and third on a wild pitch. Gardner came home on an infield single by second baseman Lee Curtis, advancing Hallett to third with no outs. Hallett then scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by first baseman Stanley Nix.
East Tennessee State (10-19, 6-9 SoCon) also got on the board in the first inning, scoring a run of their own to cut the Cougar lead to 2-1. With two outs in the frame, sophomore designated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit his second home run of the season over the right field wall.
From that point, both pitchers cruised for the next few innings. Buccaneer starter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) allowed only the infield hit to Curtis over the first six innings. After the first inning, Cougar pitcher Matt Soale, would allow just one more hit over the remainder of the game.
The one hit that Soale did allow in the final eight innings tied the game at two in the fifth as ETSU junior outfielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) led off the bottom of the inning with a solo home run to left center.
Both teams were quiet in the sixth, but the Cougars took the lead for good in the top of the eighth. Center fielder Brett Spivey led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a ground out to first. Then with two outs, designated hitter Mark Lyons hit his third homer of the season to left center to give College of Charleston a 4-2 advantage.
College of Charleston's Nix led off the top of the eighth with a solo blast to left. Catcher Matt Lauderdale followed with a double to right, and went to third on a sacrifice bunt. Right fielder Brett Anderson then reached on a fielder's choice and Lauderdale scored on an errant throw to the plate. Anderson made the score 7-2 in favor of the Cougars as he scored on a single to center by shortstop Anthony Fairchild.
The Cougars scored four more runs in the top of the ninth to provide the final margin of victory. CofC loaded the bases with no outs on a walk, a Buccaneer error and an infield single. Lyons would then score on balk, then Lauderdale cleared the bases with his fourth homer of the season.
Soale stayed undefeated on the season, running his record to 5-0. He went the distance, allowing two runs on two hits, while walking one and striking out five. Calicutt (2-4) was charged with the loss for ETSU, after pitching seven innings and allowing five runs on three hits, walking six and striking out two.
Lauderdale had a strong day for the Cougars, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Nix and Lyons both scored two runs and drove in two on the afternoon.
Game two of the weekend SoCon series will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The contest was originally scheduled for 2 p.m., but has been pushed back one hour.