KINGSPORT, Tenn. (Apr. 27, 2004) - Down 3-1 in the top of the fifth, the East Tennessee State offense erupted for 10 run over the next two innings, then held on for an 11-7 victory over Virginia Tech in the third annual Kingsport Classic from Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, Tenn. It is the second straight win for ETSU in the event, as they defeated the Hokies, 5-4, last season.
Both starting pitchers breezed through the first couple of innings as ETSU sophomore Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) and Virginia Tech's Jay Musialowski allowed just one hit through the first three frames.
Each team broke through in the fourth, as the Bucs (22-22) scored a run and the Hokies (22-18) plated three. Buccaneer junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.), currently fourth in the nation in hitting, belted his sixth home run of the season over the left-center field wall on the first pitch of the inning.
Virginia Tech answered with a leadoff homer of their own in the bottom of the fourth. First baseman Sean O'Brien laced his sixth home run of the season to the opposite field, just over the wall in left. The Hokies then rallied for two runs with two-outs, beginning as Sheldon Adams reached on a fielder's choice. Jed English then came to the plate and singled to right with the ball getting away from Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.). Adams scored all the way from first while English ended up on third. A single to right by Matt Kalish brought English home.
In the top of the fifth, the Buccaneer offense erupted for seven runs on six hits to take an 8-3 lead. ETSU loaded the bases as sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) singled, sophomore left fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached on a fielder's choice and Byrne walked. Moore then struck again with a three-run triple to the center field wall. Sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) then singled home Moore, followed by a single by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.). Sophomore designated hitter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) came to the plate next and hit his third homer of the season, a blast to deep left-center field.
East Tennessee State struck for two more runs in the top of the sixth to run their lead to 10-3. Roberts led off the inning with a single up the middle followed by a bunt single by senior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.). Traylor then followed with a bunt RBI double that got through the infield as the Hokie infielders rotated to cover the bases. Roberts scored from second on the play and Turner advanced to third. Byrne followed with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Turner.
The Bucs added to their lead plating another run in the top of the seventh. Sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a one-out single to right then scored on a subsequent triple to left-center by Roberts.
Virginia Tech got right back in the game, cutting the Buccaneer lead to 11-6 with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Kalish reached on an error to lead off the inning, followed by a single by Warren Schaeffer. The Hokies loaded the bases as Tom Blaszak hit into a fielder's choice and the Bucs committed another error, failing to get an out on the play. O'Brien then hit a two-run single scoring Kalish and Schaeffer followed by an RBI single by Wyatt Toregas.
The Hokies scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the ninth. Blaszak reached on an error to lead off the inning, then crossed the plate later on a passed ball.
Hall (7-6) earned the win, going six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits. He also walked one and struck out four. Freshman Brandon Summey (Kingsport, Tenn.) and junior Michael Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.) pitched solid in relief for the Bucs.
Musialowski (1-2) was charged with the loss, allowing eight runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings.
Roberts led the Bucs with three hits on the night, while Moore drove in four and Calicutt drove in three.
"Caleb Moore is no doubt having an incredible season," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the game. "He is seeing the ball well and has been tremendous all year."
Schaeffer paced the Hokies, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. O'Brien had two hits and three RBIs while Toregas also had two hits.
"It is a good win for our program to beat a quality opponent like Virginia Tech," said Skole. "We are playing well right now, we are the most confident we have been all year. We have a tough schedule ahead, but we are playing good baseball."
East Tennessee State returns home Friday night at 7 p.m. for the opener of a key SoCon series against The Citadel.