DAVIDSON, N.C. (Mar. 5, 2004) - East Tennessee State scored 13 runs in the first four innings and cruised to a 15-4 victory over Davidson in the Southern Conference opener for both schools Friday evening from Wildcat Park in Davidson, N.C. The win is the Bucs' third straight and eighth in their last nine games.
As they very often in the last eight games, the Bucs (8-6, 1-0 SoCon) got on the board first, sending 10 men to the plate and scoring six runs in the top of the second. Sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) and junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) led off the frame with back-to-back walks. The runners moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman designated hitter Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.). Glafenhein scored as sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) reached on a fielder's choice and Moore crossed the plate on a single up the middle by senior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.).
With Roberts and Turner on base, sophomore left fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) connected for his first home run of the season, a blast deep over the right field wall. Sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) then laced a single to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a single by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) moved him to third, Byrne would score on a sacrifice fly by sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.).
Davidson (3-4, 0-1 SoCon) scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the second to cut the Buccaneer lead to four. With two down, designated hitter Taylor Shoop reached on an error then scored on a single by the next batter, third baseman Jay Heafner.
The Bucs erupted again in the third, scoring five more runs to make the score 11-1. Moore, Douglas and Roberts began the inning with consecutive singles to load the bases. Turner grounded out to short to score Moore while Douglas would come home on a sacrifice fly by Traylor. Byrne then followed with a double to left to score Roberts. Howdeshell doubled to score Byrne and he would score on a single to center by Church.
ETSU ran their lead to 13-1, plating two more runs in the top of the fourth. With one out, Roberts singled to right for his second hit of the evening. Turner then came to the plate and hit his second home run of the season with a two-run shot over the center field wall.
Wildcat third baseman Jay Heafner led off the bottom of the fourth with his first homer of the season, a line drive shot over the left field wall. First baseman Justin Hartanov then laced a double to right center and with one down, second baseman Ronnie Shore gave Davidson runners on first and third with a single to center. But Howdeshell ended the Wildcat rally with a sparkling defensive effort. Shortstop Eli Benefield hit a hard ground ball up the middle that Howdeshell snagged behind second base. He flipped it behind him to Glafenehin to get the out at second then Glafenhein fired it to first to complete the double play.
East Tennessee State added a run to their lead in the top of the seventh. Traylor led off the inning with a double down the right field line and later scored on a double by Glafenhein. Davidson then answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame.
Wildcat right fielder Sam Navarro led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. The following batter, center fielder Michael Muniz, scored Navarro with a single to right. He moved to third on a single by catcher Alex Entrekin and scored as pinch hitter Gregory Zage grounded into a double play.
The Bucs scored the final run of the game in the top of the eighth. With one out, Roberts hit a single to center and scored later on a two-out double by Traylor.
Sophomore righty Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) continued his strong pitching of late, going the first five innings and allowing one earned run on nine hits. Hall (3-2) did not walk anyone, and struck out two Wildcat batters.
Davidson starter Matt Dellinger (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing 10 runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings.
Each of the Buccaneer starters had at least one hit as the Bucs recorded 20 on the evening. Roberts had a game-high three hits while Traylor and Howdeshell each had three. Traylor and Turner tied for the team lead with four RBIs while Roberts scored four runs.
"I was proud of the way our guys came out tonight and swung their bats," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the game. "When you get 20 hits, you will always have a chance to win. A lot of guys contributed tonight; right now everybody in our lineup is a tough out. I am also very happy with how our pitchers threw; they only allowed one walk and were around the plate all night."
Davidson tallied 13 hits, but also left 10 men on base. Muniz led the Wildcats with three hits while Entrekin, Heafner and Hartanov each had three.
"It is great to get that first SoCon win," said Skole. "But tomorrow will be a huge game; Davidson will definitely be ready to play"
The Bucs and Davidson return to Wildcat Park tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. for game two of the three-game set. Live stats will be available on the baseball page of ETSU's athletic website, www.ETSUBucs.com.