JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 10, 2004) - East Tennessee State had several timely hits, allowing them to pull away from Radford and defeat the Highlanders, 5-2, Wednesday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The Bucs received solid pitching, led by freshman righty David Yates (Douglasville, Ga.), who earned the win in his first collegiate start.
ETSU (9-8, 1-2 Southern Conference) got on the board early, scoring a run in the top of the first. Sophomore left fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the inning with a double to right center then stole third with two outs. Sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) then singled to drive in Traylor for his 19th RBI of the season.
The Bucs added to their lead with a run in the bottom of the third. Traylor began the rally again, reaching on a one-out walk before advancing to third on a double by sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.). Traylor crossed the plate for his second run of the afternoon on a RBI groundout by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.).
Radford (2-9) scored their first run to cut ETSU's lead in half in the top of the fifth. Center fielder Scott Gvozdas led off the inning with a double down the left field line. He moved to third on a fly out by catcher Dean Altavilla and then scored on a sac fly to right by shortstop Stuart Ritchie.
Sophomore designated hitter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) tacked another run to the Buccaneer lead with a solo homer with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. The blast over the left-center field wall was Calicutt's first of the season.
The Highlanders responded with a run of their own in the top of the eighth. Left fielder Kellen Wohlford continued his strong day at the plate with a one-out double to right field. Then with two down, third baseman Shaun House blooped a single into center to drive in Wohlford and cut the ETSU lead to 3-2.
East Tennessee State scored two big runs to ice the game in the bottom of the eighth. Senior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) laced a leadoff triple down the left field line. He scored the first run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Traylor. Byrne then walked, stole second, then scored on a single by Howdeshell.
Junior closer Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) came on to pitch a perfect ninth inning for his second save of the season.
Yates (1-0) turned in an impressive first start, going five innings and allowing one run on five hits while striking out three. Michael Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.), Trevor Smith (Newport, Tenn.), Caleb Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Moore each pitched an inning of effective relief to hold off the Highlanders.
Josh Deaver (0-2) pitched a strong seven innings for Radford, but was charged with the loss. Deaver allowed three runs on just four hits while striking out three and walking two.
No Buccaneers recorded more than one hit, but Church extended his hitting streak to 11 games and Byrne extended his to 10. Traylor scored two runs while Howdeshell drove in two in the win.
Radford was led by Wohlford, who went 4-for-4 with a run scored. He had two doubles and two singles, but no other Highlander had more than one hit.
"We pitched very well today," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the game. "David Yates kept the ball down in the strike zone and kept us in the ball game."
The Bucs return to the diamond Friday night a 7 p.m. in Statesboro, Ga. for the opener of a three-game SoCon series at Georgia Southern.
"Georgia Southern is one of the toughest places to play in the country," said Skole. "They will be ready for us and we look forward to going down there to face them."