ATHENS, Ga. (Feb. 17, 2004) - East Tennessee State took an early two-run lead Tuesday afternoon at Georgia, but the Bulldogs then rallied for eight runs in the first three innings and cruised to an 11-3 victory over the Bucs from Foley Field in Athens, Ga.
East Tennessee State (0-4) opened the scoring in the top of the first with a two-out, two-run rally. Senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch then advanced to second on a single to left field by sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.). Both runners would score on a subsequent double off of the right-center field wall by sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.).
The Bulldogs (4-0) fought right back with a two-out rally of their own, taking the lead with three runs in the bottom of the first. Center fielder Kyle Keen reached on a fielder's choice followed by a bloop double down the left field line by third baseman Josh Smith to give Georgia runners on second and third. After the second out was recorded on a strikeout, designated hitter Matt Robbins doubled in two runs, followed by an RBI double by second baseman Marshall Szabo.
Georgia added a run to their lead with a single run in the bottom of the second. With one out in the frame, shortstop Justin Holmes lined a triple into the gap in right field. He would then score on a groundout to third by the next batter, left fielder Bobby Felmy.
The Bulldogs sent eight men to the plate in the bottom of the third, scoring four runs to widen their lead to 8-2. Smith, first baseman Josh Morris, Robbins, Szabo and catcher Clint Sammons began the inning with consecutive singles, driving in two runs between them. Robbins then scored on a balk and Szabo came in to score on a sacrifice fly to deep right by Holmes.
ETSU trimmed a run off of the Georgia lead in the top of the fifth as junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) turned on an inside fastball and belted it over the left center field wall for his first home run of the season.
Georgia would put the game out of reach in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three times to extend its lead to 11-3. Pinch-hitter Jonathan Wyatt led off the inning by reaching on an error then advanced to third on a double by Smith. Morris then followed with his third home run of the early season, a three-run shot over the left-center field wall.
Bulldog freshman Joey Carroll, in his first collegiate start, earned the win after pitching five innings and allowing three earned runs on four hits. ETSU senior lefty Josh Kite (Greeneville, Tenn.) was charged with the loss after allowing eight earned runs on nine hits in two innings pitched. Kite walked one batter while striking out two.
Sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.), Glafenhein, Church and Moore led ETSU with one hit each. Glafenhein paced the Bucs with two RBIs on the afternoon.
Smith led the Bulldogs at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored. Morris and Robbins each had two hits, three RBIs and two runs scored.
East Tennessee State and Georgia will meet again Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m. from Foley Field in Athens, Ga. for the final matchup of the two-game series.