JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 2, 2004) - East Tennessee State held on to defeat The Citadel, 9-7, in Southern Conference baseball action Sunday afternoon from rainy Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The win gave the Bucs a sweep of the series, marking the first time that ETSU has won all three games in a series against the Bulldogs in school history.
Another milestone that was reached on Sunday was Buccaneer head coach Tony Skole's 200th career victory. Skole won his 100th game at ETSU on Apr. 18 against Appalachian State.
Following a two-hour and 41 minute rain delay, the Bulldogs (26-18, 15-6 SoCon) took the lead with a run in the top of the first. With one out, Chris Ard singled to right field, then scored on a two-out double by Chip Cannon.
The Bucs (25-22, 14-13 SoCon) immediately responded, taking the lead with two runs in the bottom of the first. With one out, sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) reached base on a single to right field. Junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) came to the plate and extended his hitting streak to 10 games, scoring Byrne with a double to left center. Moore crossed the plate on a two-out RBI single to left by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.).
The score would stay 2-1 in favor of the Bucs until The Citadel regained the lead with two runs in the top of the fourth. Cannon walked to lead off the inning followed by a two-out two-run homer by Mark Egleton.
The resilient Buccaneers plated four more runs in the bottom of the fourth, taking the lead right back at 6-3. Howdeshell ended up on second after reaching on an error to begin the inning. He stole third, and a walk by sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) gave the Bucs runners on the corners with no outs. Howdeshell scored and Glafenhein moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.). Senior Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) drove in Glafenhein with a single to center, then stole second. Sophomore left fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Byrne walked before Moore hit his second double of the game, scoring both Turner and Traylor.
ETSU ran their lead to 8-3 with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Roberts singled to lead off the inning, and was on base as Byrne hit a two-out two-run homer that ended up being very important by the end of the game.
The Bulldogs got right back in the game, scoring four runs in the top of the seventh to cut the ETSU lead to 8-7. Andy Phillips led off the inning with an infield single, followed by Egleton's second two-run homer of the afternoon. Matt Matulia reached on a fielder's choice, then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Matt Covington doubled to left-center to score Matulia then came home on an infield single by Josh Stackley.
The Citadel could have done more damage in the inning, but senior lefty Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) came in from the bullpen to shut down the Bulldog offense.
The Bucs added an insurance run, scoring the final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore designated hitter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) led off the inning with a triple to center. He would cross the plate on a ground out by Glafenhein.
Sophomore righty Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) earned the win (8-6) after allowing seven runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings. Hall also struck out two and walked two. Jamie Maxwell (1-3) was charged with the loss, allowing five runs (two earned) on five hits in 3.2 innings.
Kite picked up his first save of the season, giving up just two hits and striking out three in 2.2 innings.
Moore led the Bucs at the plate again, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and three RBIs. It was the ninth-straight game that Moore had recorded multiple hits, batting .628 (27-43) in that span. Byrne also went 2-for-3 with two walks, scoring two runs and driving in two more.
Egleton paced the Bulldogs, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs. Covington also had two hits on the day.
With today's win, the Bucs have won four straight games and 11 of their last 14 contests.
"We had problems playing well consistently early in the season," said Skole. "But after the Western Carolina series, our kids have brought it to the park every day. We are becoming a more confident team every game."
The Bucs return to action Wednesday night at 7 p.m. against Tennessee Tech in Cookeville, Tenn.