JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 16, 2003) - True freshman lefty Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) had his best game in a Buccaneer uniform on Sunday afternoon, pitching a complete-game two-hitter in a 7-0 ETSU victory over VMI from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
With the win, ETSU raises its record to 7-11 and evens its Southern Conference record at 3-3. VMI falls to 6-11, 4-2 in SoCon contests.
Calicutt set the tone of the game early, retiring the Keydets in order in each of the first three innings. After struggling from the plate in the first two games of the series, ETSU's bats awakened in the third inning, giving Calicutt all the runs that he would need.
With one out in the third, junior outfielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) singled to left field then came home on a triple by the next batter, sophomore catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.). Junior second baseman Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) then laced a double down the left field line to score Moore. The third and final run of the inning came as sophomore designated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a double to right field, scoring Howdeshell.
ETSU came right back in the bottom of the fourth, scoring two more runs to make the lead 5-0. Freshman third baseman Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) led off the inning with a single to center field, and advanced to second on a single by freshman outfielder Jordan Abromovitz (South Park, Pa.). Both runners then moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore shortstop Justin Clear (LaFollette, Tenn.). With two outs, Moore came to the plate and continued his great afternoon by clearing the bases with a single to left.
With a five run cushion, Calicutt was cruising, carrying a no-hitter into the seventh inning. The only baserunners he allowed prior to that were walks in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
The Buccaneers scored single runs in the seventh and eighth to provide the final margin of victory. In the seventh, Turner again led off with a single. After advancing to second on a ground out by Moore, Turner crossed the plate on a two-out single by Burklin.
ETSU scored their final run in the eighth as Clear walked with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and came home on a double by Moore.
In addition to allowing just two hits, Calicutt struck out four Keydets in his nine innings of work. With the win, he is now 2-1 on the season. Richard Litwin (0-1) was charged with the loss for VMI after pitching the first 2.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on five hits.
"Steven Calicutt was phenomenal today," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the win. "He was throwing everything for strikes today, and we played great defense behind him."
Moore led the Bucs at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and four RBIs. Turner, Burklin, freshman outfielder Beau Alford (Johnson City, Tenn.) and freshman first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) each had two hits for ETSU.
Second baseman Jason Annis and third baseman Kelly Sweppenhiser collected hits for the Keydets.
"This was a very big win for our program," commented Skole. "I am proud of how we swung the bats today, our guys did a great job of hitting with runners in scoring position. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come offensively."
The Buccaneers will return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Blacksburg, Va. to face Virginia Tech at 2:30 p.m.