JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Apr. 4, 2004) - East Tennessee State scored two clutch runs to take the lead in the bottom of the seventh, then held on to defeat Western Carolina, 4-3, in Southern Conference baseball action Sunday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
The game began as a pitchers duel, as WCU starter Derrick Hawk and Buccaneer sophomore lefty Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) cruised through the first few innings. But the Catamounts (14-17, 4-8 SoCon) would break through with a run in the top of the third as second baseman Todd Roper hit a two-out triple and was singled home by third baseman Chris Davis.
WCU extended their lead to 2-0 with another run in the top of the fifth. Shortstop Wayne Kilmer was hit by a pitch with one out then moved to second as Davis was hit by a pitch with two down. Catcher Denver Edick then laced a double down the left field line to score Kilmer.
East Tennessee State rallied for single runs in the fifth and sixth to tie the game. Sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the fifth with a double to right, then advanced to third on a ground out by junior designated hitter Ryan Spriggs (Crossville, Tenn.). Glafenhein later scored on an infield single by freshman first baseman David Yates (Douglasville, Ga.).
In the sixth, senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) walked with one out then advanced to second on a hit-and-run single to left by freshman outfielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.). Glafenhein then continued his torrid weekend with an RBI single to left field.
The Bucs continued their momentum, taking the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Junior third baseman Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.) led off the inning with an infield single. Senior Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.), who pinch-ran for Clear, then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore center fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.), and to third on a wild pitch.
Following a walk by sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.), junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached on a fielder's choice to score Turner with the go-ahead run from third. It was a pivotal play in the game, as Moore hustled down the line to beat out what could have been an inning-ending double-play. After advancing to second on a single by Howdeshell, Moore scored ETSU's final run of the game on an RBI single by Douglas.
Western Carolina made one final comeback attempt with Moore on the mound in the ninth. With one out, Kilmer hit a solo homer over the right field wall to cut the Buccaneer lead to just one. But Moore recorded the second out on a fly ball and senior third baseman Troy Moock (Baton Rouge, La.) snared a line drive for the final out of the game.
Calicutt (3-4) was sharp on the mound, earning the win while turning in one of his best performances of the year. He went seven innings and allowed two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one. Moore picked up his fifth save of the season, allowing one run on one hit in the ninth inning.
"After losing two games yesterday, we needed a good pitching performance," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the game. "That is exactly what Steven Calicutt gave us today."
Catamount reliever Brian McCullen (0-3) was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in 1.2 innings pitched.
Glafenhein and Douglas led the Bucs at the plate, each going 3-for-4 on the afternoon. Glafenhein also scored a run and drove in another. Roper and Edick paced the Catamounts with two hits each.
ETSU returns to action as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn. Wednesday night to face in-state rival Tennessee at 7 p.m.