GREENSBORO, N.C. (March 8, 2002) - After putting eight runs on the scoreboard last night, the Bucs could not get the same kind of production on Saturday, as UNCG defeated ETSU, 5-1, in Southern Conference baseball action from UNCG Baseball Stadium in Greensboro, N.C.
UNCG (13-1) pitcher Jay Metzger (2-0) allowed just one earned run on three hits over 6.0+ innings, keeping the Bucs off-balance all afternoon. The soutpaw retired the first 14 batters, before a single by sophomore designated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) in the fifth inning. Metzger fanned two and did not walk a single batter. Metzger, who tossed 68 pitches on the day, started the seventh inning, but was pulled after giving up a leadoff single.
After Jarrett Santos tossed one scoreless inning of relief for UNCG, Chris Mason pitched the final two innings to register his fifth save of the season. The freshman struckout four and yielded just a pair of hits.
ETSU (5-9) junior starter Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) matched Metzger nearly pitch for pitch. Turner kept the Spartans off the scoreboard until the fourth inning. The southpaw was victimized in the fourth by a pair of errors. Kirk Strebin reached base to lead off the inning on an error. After Jason Sarvis walked, Justin Saltalamacchia reached on another error, allowing Strebin to score. Ryan Gordon followed with a perfect bunt single to load the bases with none out, but Turner fanned the next two Spartans batters. Turner almost got out of the jam, but walked Nate Alden to give the Spartans a two-run advantage, 2-0.
Turner settled down after the fourth inning and pitched into the eighth inning. Turner did tire in the eighth inning, allowing three earned runs. Turner was charged for all five runs, four of which were earned, in 7.1 innings of work. Turner struckout five and walked four.
Junior second baseman Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) and sophomore outfielder Kevin Brotherton (Erwin, Tenn.) each went 2-for-4, while Burklin went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Howdeshell and Brotherton added two hits apiece in Friday night's victory as well.
Strebin went 1-for-2 with a run scored and two walks, while Saltalamacchia, Gordon and Mason each added hits. Mason's RBI double in the three-run eighth inning provided some insurance.
The Bucs and Spartans return for the rubber game of the three-game series Sunday afternoon. First-pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at UNCG Baseball Stadium in Greensboro, N.C.