Buccaneer Baseball rallies for 10-8 victory over Furman
Buccaneer Baseball rallies for 10-8 victory over Furman
Friday, March 11, 2005

(Mar. 11, 2005) - Entering the top of the seventh down 4-3, the East Tennessee State baseball team sent 12 batters to the plate, scoring seven runs. The Bucs then held on for a 10-8 victory over Furman in ETSU's Southern Conference opener Friday night from Furman Stadium in Greenville, S.C. The rally was highlighted by ETSU freshman third baseman Anthony Russell's (Waldorf, Md.) first collegiate home run, a two-run blast over the centerfield wall.

            With the win, the Bucs move to 10-1, 1-0 in Southern Conference play while Furman falls to 6-7, 2-2 in conference games.

            The Bucs jumped on Furman starter Sam Perry early, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Senior second baseman Nick Crowe (Johnson City, Tenn.) and junior right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) led off the game with back-to-back solo home runs to right field.

            Furman came back in the top of the second, scoring two runs to tie the game. Matthew Betsill singled to left to lead off the inning and Sam McLain followed with a two-run homer to left-center.

            East Tennessee State regained the lead in the top of the fourth as junior shortstop Chuck Hargis (Powell, Tenn.) belted a solo home run, his first of the season, over the centerfield wall.

            The Paladins tied the game with a single run in the bottom of the fifth. Nick Wajda walked to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Andrew Greene. Wadja stole third base with one out and crossed the plate on a throwing error.

            Furman took a 4-3 lead with a run in the bottom of the sixth. McLain singled through the right side with one out and later crossed the plate as Tony Maccani reached on an error.

            The Bucs took the lead for good with their furious rally in the seventh. Hargis, Crowe, Byrne and Moore began the frame with consecutive singles, with Moore's bringing home Hargis with the game-tying run. With one out and the bases loaded, sophomore right fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) hit a sharp ground out to the first baseman, scoring Crowe with the go-ahead run. Junior designated hitter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) then reached on an error, scoring both Byrne and Moore to add to the Bucs lead. The inning was then capped by Russell's two-run homer.

            Furman scored another run in the bottom of the eighth as McLain connected for his second home run of the day, hitting a solo shot over the right field wall.

            The Paladins made the game interesting in the bottom of the ninth, Betsill hit a three-run homer to bring the Paladins to within two. But freshman lefty Joey McCown (Alcoa, Tenn.) came on to record the final out to earn his first collegiate save.

            The Bucs were led at the plate by Crowe and Hargis. Crowe went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and an RBI while Hargis was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Byrne, Moore and Russell also had two hits each in the win.

            McLain had a stellar performance for the Paladins, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs.

            Junior righty Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) allowed four earned runs over 7.1 innings on six hits to earn his third win of the season (3-0). He also walked four batters while striking out two.

            Furman's Ryan Hodinka (1-1) was charged with the loss, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits while not retiring a batter.  

East Tennessee State and Furman return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon for game two of their three game weekend series from Furman Stadium in Greenville, S.C. Saturday's game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. but has been changed to 3 p.m. The game can be heard on the Mountain States Health Alliance Buccaneer Sports Network, with the pregame show starting at 2:30 p.m.