JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 29, 2003) - East Tennessee State posted dramatic, come from behind victories in their last at-bat in both ends of a doubleheader against Southern Conference rival Wofford, 12-10 and 5-4, Saturday from Cardinal Park In Johnson City, Tenn.
With the wins, the Buccaneers raise their record to 9-15, 5-6 in SoCon games, while the Terriers fall to 4-20, 2-9 in conference action.
Both teams went scoreless for the first two innings in game one, until Wofford broke through in the top of the third. Center fielder Zach Pittman led the inning off with a single, and then came home on a double by first baseman Steve Casey.
After the Terriers scored another run in the fourth on a home run blast by right fielder Blake Timanus, the Bucs evened the score by tallying two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) led the inning off with a walk, then scored when sophomore designated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled and went to second on an error. Freshman first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) then doubled to score Burklin.
With the score tied at two, both teams had an offensive explosion, with the Bucs scoring eight times and the Terriers plating six runs between the sixth and the ninth innings. With the score tied 10-10 after nine innings, the game would have to be settled in extra innings. Both teams went silent in the first two extra frames, but the Bucs would end the marathon game in their half of the 12th.
With one out and sophomore shortstop Justin Clear (LaFollette, Tenn.) on first following a walk, Moore hit a homer over the right field wall to give the Bucs the win.
Senior reliever Jarrod Hyder (Elizabethton, Tenn.) picked up the win (3-1) after pitching four almost flawless innings. He allowed three hits and struck out four. Junior starter Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) went the first seven innings, allowing six earned runs on eight hits and striking out 11 Terrier batters. Jarrod Rampey (2-5) was charged with the loss for Wofford, allowing six earned runs and nine hits over the last five innings of the game.
Moore was the star at the plate for the Bucs, going 3-for-6 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Burklin, Church and freshman third baseman Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) also had multiple hits in game one for ETSU.
Timanus had a monster game for Wofford, going 4-for-6 with three runs scored and four RBI's. Coming into the day with two home runs on the season, Timanus drilled two in game one.
Game two started as a pitcher's duel, with ETSU junior starter Josh Kite (Greenville, Tenn.) and Wofford's Chad McGill beginning the game very strong. No runs were scored until the fifth inning, and Kite struck out six batters in the first three innings.
The Terriers opened the scoring by plating two runs in the top of the fifth. Shortstop Matt Davis drove in catcher Scott Holloway and left fielder David Dufour with a double down the right field line.
The Terriers extended their lead to 4-0 after scoring two more runs in the top of the seventh. After a single by Davis, Steve Casey hit a two-run homer over the right field wall.
ETSU stormed back in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the Wofford lead to one, 4-3. Turner singled to right field to drive in junior outfielder Bo Calloway (Knoxville, Tenn.) with the Bucs' first run of the game. Then Moore came through again, driving in Turner and Clear with a double to left center.
After sophomore pitcher Mike Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.) retired the Terriers in order in the top of the ninth, ETSU had a chance to win their second consecutive game in their final at-bat.
Clear led the inning off by getting hit by a pitch, and was pinch-run for by junior Troy Moock (Baton Rouge, La.). After a sac bunt by Turner, Moock moved to third on a single by Moore. Moock scored on a subsequent single by junior second baseman Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.). Moore then scored the game-winning run on a single by Church.
Bauer (1-1) got the win after his inning of perfect relief. Kite went 6.1 innings and allowed four runs on six hits and struck out 10. Keith Sturkie (0-2) was charged with the loss for Wofford, allowing two runs on four hits in 1.2 innings pitched.
Moore had another strong outing in game two, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs. "Caleb Moore is one of the hottest hitters in college baseball," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the games. "He is one of the most talented players in our conference and he is playing at a very high level right now."
Howdeshell also had two hits for ETSU, while Davis led the Terriers by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored.
The two teams conclude their series tomorrow at 1 p.m. from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.