JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 16, 2004) - East Tennessee State junior Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) went 3-for-4 at the plate and pitched a perfect ninth for his third save as ETSU defeated Ball State, 9-8, Tuesday night from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Buccaneers (11-10) took an early lead in this evening's game, scoring single runs in both the first and second innings. Sophomore center fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the first with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third and came home on a balk. In the second, sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) doubled to center field and scored on a subsequent single to center by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.).
Ball State (5-7) cut the ETSU lead in half, scoring their first run in the top of the third. With one out, shortstop Jason Bucholtz hit a solo home run over the right field wall.
East Tennessee State answered with another run in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Traylor. With two outs, Moore lined a double down the left field line to score Roberts.
The Cardinals scored a run in similar fashion to make the score 3-2 in the top of the fourth. With one down, second baseman Kyle Dygert walked, then advanced to second on a groundout by catcher Lucas Fry. The next batter, designated hitter Matt Gard, laced a double to left center to bring home Fry.
ETSU seemingly broke the game open with four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Glafenhein, Howdeshell and sophomore designated hitter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) loaded the bases with one out after each was hit by pitches. Glafenhein scored on a passed ball, then Roberts brought home Howdeshell and Calicutt with a single to left. Roberts moved to second on a groundout by Traylor and would score on a single by sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.).
But the resilient Cardinals fought back again, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth to cut ETSU's advantage to 7-5. Bucholtz struck again with a double to center, followed by a walk by center fielder Mike Sullivan. Third baseman Marc Franz then came to the plate and hit a three-run blast over the right field wall.
East Tennessee State built their lead back up to 9-5 with a two-run rally in the bottom of the fifth. Moore led off the frame with a double to center and advanced to third on a ground out by sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.). Moore crossed the plate on a slow grounder to third by Glafenhein. With two outs, Howdeshell doubled down the right field line and scored on an RBI single by freshman left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.).
BSU chipped away at the ETSU lead again, scoring a single run in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Kiel Holman reached on an error with one out and scored on an RBI single by Bucholtz.
The Cardinals almost completed their comeback in the top of the eighth, scoring two runs to trim the Buccaneer lead to just one. Dygert and Fry led the inning off with back-to-back singles to put runners on second and third. After one out was recorded, pinch-hitter James Nowicki hit another single to load the bases. Bucholtz then continued his strong evening with a sacrifice fly to center to bring Dygert home. Sullivan capped the inning with a single up the middle to score Jon Dollinger, who came in the game to pinch-run for Fry.
But that was as close as Ball State would get as Moore silenced the Cardinal bats in the ninth with a strikeout, a line out and a pop up.
ETSU senior lefty Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) bounced back from a tough start Sunday at Georgia Southern to pick up the win (3-3). Turner went five innings and allowed five runs on six hits while walking two and striking out eight. Turner was dominant at times, striking out all three batters in the second inning looking.
Chris Hansen (0-2) was charged with the loss for Ball State after allowing six runs on three hits over 3.1 innings. Hansen also walked a batter, struck out four and hit four others.
Moore led the Bucs with his three hits while Howdeshell collected two base hits on the evening. Glafenhein and Howdeshell each scored two runs while Roberts scored and drove in two against the Cardinals.
"Caleb (Moore) has been giving us Herculean efforts all year," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the win. "He has been carrying us offensively and has not blown a save this year. He is really a special player."
Ball State was led by Bucholtz, who was just a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Sullivan and Singleton also had two hits for the Cardinals while Franz drove in three runs.
"This is a big win for us, Ball State is a great program," commented Skole. "They are extremely well coached and they have a lot of tradition."
The Bucs and Cardinals return to the diamond tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. for the final game of the mid-week two game series from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.