JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 6, 2003) - East Tennessee State could not complete a rally in the bottom of the ninth as William and Mary held on to defeat the Bucs, 7-5, Thursday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Tribe (9-4) entered the bottom of the ninth with a 7-4 lead before ETSU (4-8) freshman catcher Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) singled to center and advanced to third on two consecutive passed balls. Sophomore shortstop Justin Clear (LaFollette, Tenn.) walked to bring the tying run to the plate. After William and Mary closer Chris Shaver recorded an out, ETSU junior second baseman Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) hit a single to left field to score Church. But with the potential tying run on base, Shaver got sophomore first baseman Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) into a double play to end the game.
The scoring opened in the top of the second as the Tribe plated the first run of the game. W&M outfielder Tim Jones hit a single to right field and advanced to second as C.J. Stimson was hit by a pitch and to third on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Kyle Padgett. Jones then scored on an infield single by catcher Kevin Healy.
The Bucs responded immediately with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Junior outfielder Bo Calloway (Knoxville, Tenn.) laced a double to left center and crossed the plate on an infield single by the next batter, sophomore outfielder Kevin Brotherton (Erwin, Tenn.).
William and Mary went on top 2-1 in the top of the fourth on a solo homer by outfielder Michael Brown.
Again, ETSU answered, scoring a single run in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game. Senior first baseman Chad Boruff (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked then advanced to second on a single by sophomore third baseman Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.). With one out, Brotherton hit another infield single to load the bases. Church then hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score Boruff from third.
The Tribe took control of the game, 6-2, by scoring two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings. Third baseman Trey Wakefield hit a two-run homer to left in the fifth and center fielder Chris Rahl hit a two-run shot in the sixth.
ETSU closed the gap to two, 6-4, after scoring two runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh. Brotherton opened the inning by getting by a pitch. Clear hit his second double of the day, hitting a shot to right and advancing Brotherton to third. Howdeshell then singled to left to score both runners.
William and Mary scored an insurance run in the top of the ninth as second baseman Will Rhymes scored on a single by designated hitter Yancey Jones after reaching on an error.
Chris Ray (3-0) picked up the victory for the Tribe, pitching seven innings and allowing four earned runs on eight hits while striking out eight. Shaver picked up his second save of the season after pitching the final two frames. Freshman pitcher Beau Alford (Johnson City, Tenn.) (0-1) was charged with the loss for ETSU, after pitching the fifth inning and allowing two runs (none earned) on two hits.
Howdeshell had a great day at the plate for the Bucs, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Brotherton also had two hits with an RBI and a run scored, while Clear had two hits with run scored.
East Tennessee State now travels to UNC Greensboro this weekend for their first series of the Southern Conference season. The opening game of the series will begin at 7 p.m. Friday night.