JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 19, 2004) - Virginia Tech withstood a furious late-inning rally by East Tennessee State, holding on to defeat the Bucs, 9-7, Wednesday night from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The Buccaneers outhit the Hokies, 14-12, but six costly ETSU errors led to four unearned runs.
It was a milestone victory for Hokie head coach Chuck Hartman, who won his 1400th game this evening, third among active collegiate coaches.
Virginia Tech (28-25) took the lead in the top of the second, scoring three runs on four hits. Bryan Thomas and Tom Blaszak each hit RBI singles while Chris Stanton forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk.
East Tennessee State (27-26) cut the Hokie lead to 3-1 with a run in bottom of the second. Sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached on a fielder's choice, then advanced to third as freshman designated hitter David Yates (Douglasville, Ga.) reached on an error. Glafenhein would cross the plate as sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) hit a sacrifice fly to center.
The Hokies scored two runs in the top of the third and one in the top of the fourth to run their lead to 6-1. In the third, Warren Schaeffer singled in Wyatt Toregas from third while Bryan Thomas drove in Jed English with a ground out. In the fourth, Stanton reached on a fielder's choice with one out and scored later in the inning on a wild pitch.
Virginia Tech scored their final three runs of the evening in the top of the fifth, on three hits and three Buccaneer errors. Nate Parks drove in Matt Foley with an RBI bunt single, but Schaeffer also crossed the plate as an error was committed on the play. Later in the inning, Stanton singled to left to bring Parks home.
ETSU began their comeback by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth. After sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) and junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the inning with back-to-back singles, sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) doubled to right to score Byrne. Moore crossed the plate on a passed ball while Church came home on a groundout by sophomore center fielder Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.).
The Bucs got a big hit from Moore to cut the Hokie lead to 9-6 in the bottom of the sixth. After a walk by Byrne with two outs, Moore crushed the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for his team-leading ninth home run of the season.
East Tennessee State continued to chip away at the Virginia Tech advantage, scoring another run in the bottom of the eighth. Senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) singled up the middle with one out, followed by an RBI double down the right field line by Byrne.
The game had an exciting conclusion as the Bucs had the tying runs in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Junior pinch-hitter Richie Billings (Leesburg, Fla.) put a charge into a 1-2 pitch, hitting it deep to left field. But Stanton was able to make the catch against the wall for the final out.
Adam Redd (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory, allowing four runs (two earned) in five innings. He also walked one and struck out two. Hokie closer Nicky Bowers worked the final 1.2 innings for his sixth save of the season.
ETSU senior lefty Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) was charged with the loss (5-8) allowing six runs (five earned) over 3.2 innings. The Buccaneer bullpen was effective once again as freshman righty Caleb Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) and senior lefty Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) kept the Bucs in the game by combining for 5.1 scoreless innings.
Parks led the Hokies at the plate with three hits while English and Schaeffer each had two. Thomas and Stanton drove in two runs each while English and Foley both scored two.
Calicutt went 4-for-5 for ETSU while Byrne was 3-for-4 on the evening. Moore was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs. With his two hits, Moore extended his team-best hitting streak to 16 games.
East Tennessee State returns to action this weekend with its final Southern Conference series of the season against Furman. The first game of the three-game set is Friday evening at 7 p.m. from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.