MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (May 13, 2004) - East Tennessee State scored three runs in the top of the ninth to seal a 7-4 victory Thursday night over West Virginia Thursday night from Hawley Field in Morgantown, W. Va.
The Bucs (26-23) got on the board early, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) drew a one-out walk, followed by a single to right by junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.). Sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) hit an RBI single, scoring Byrne from third then senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) doubled to left, scoring both Moore and Church.
East Tennessee State added to its lead with a run in the top of the third. Senior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) singled up the middle to lead off the inning. He stole second and third, then crossed the plate on a single to center by Moore.
West Virginia (18-28) loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth on bloop singles by both Kurtis Clinton and Travis D'Amico and a bunt single by David Carpenter. Doug Nelms hit an RBI single to right field with one out, but ETSU avoided any further damage as sophomore righty Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) got Jake Serfass to ground into a double play to end the inning.
The Mountaineers cut further into ETSU's lead with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Grant Psomas and Lee Fritz led off the frame with consecutive doubles and D'Amico hit a two-out double off the left field wall to bring home Fritz.
Senior lefty Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) worked out of a crucial jam in the bottom of the eighth, as he came in with runners on first and third with no outs. Stan Posluszny popped out to Kite, Moore gunned out Lee Fritz attempting to steal second and Kite then got Clinton to fly out to left.
East Tennessee State got three important insurance runs in the top of the ninth. With one out, sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) and freshman left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) hit back-to-back singles. Turner then laced a triple into left-center scoring Roberts and Douglas. Turner would cross the plate later in the inning on a wild pitch.
WVU scored a run in the bottom of the ninth as David Carpenter walked and Justin Richards doubled him home with one out. But that was the only run that the Mountaineers could score against Moore, who pitched the ninth.
Hall earned the win (9-6), pitching six innings and allowing three runs on nine hits. He also struck out three while not allowing a walk.
West Virginia starter Ryan Lipscomb pitched well, but was charged with the loss (1-2), allowing four runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings. He also struck out five while walking three.
Turner led the Bucs at the plate, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Howdeshell, Moore, Church and Douglas also had two hits on the night for ETSU.
West Virginia was paced by Psomas, Clinton, D'Amico and Carpenter who each had two hits on the evening.
The Bucs and Mountaineers return to the diamond for game two of their three-game set tomorrow night at 7 p.m. from Hawley Field in Morgantown, W. Va.