Buccaneer Baseball wins eighth-straight game, defeats West Virginia 7-6
Saturday, March 5, 2005
Chuck Hargis went 3-for-5 with two RBIs, including the game-winner
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 5, 2005) - East Tennessee State junior shortstop Chuck Hargis (Powell, Tenn.) hit a two-out infield single in the bottom of the ninth to bring home the game-winning run in an exciting 7-6 Buccaneer victory over West Virginia Saturday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. The win kept ETSU's record perfect at 8-0 while WVU falls to 2-7.
West Virginia jumped out to an early lead with two runs in the top of the first. With one out, Justin Jenkins reached on an error and Lee Fritz followed with a towering home run over the left field wall.
But as has been the case all season, the Bucs responded immediately, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first. Junior right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) singled to right with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. Senior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) then came to the plate and hit an RBI single up the middle. Junior first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) reached on an error as Moore advanced to third. Sophomore left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) brought Moore home with a sacrifice fly to left.
The Bucs took the lead with a run in the bottom of the second. Junior centerfielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) and junior third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) led off the inning with back-to-back walks. Hargis reached on an error, loading the bases for senior second baseman Nick Crowe (Johnson City, Tenn.) who hit into a fielder's choice, scoring Traylor from third.
ETSU added another run in the bottom of the sixth. Traylor led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a ground out by Roberts. He would cross the plate on an RBI single by Hargis.
After giving up the two runs in the top of the first, Buccaneer starter Brian Lovett (Knoxville, Tenn.), was cruising until the top of the seventh as WVU scored two runs to tie the game. Travis D'Amico doubled down the right field line to lead off the inning and went to third on a one-out bunt single by Doug Nelms. The next batter, Casey Bowling, singled through the left side to score D'Amico and advance Nelms to second. Jenkins loaded the bases on a single to left and Nelms would cross the plate on a wild pitch to Fritz. But ETSU's Hargis, Crowe and Church were able to turn a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the inning without any further damage.
EastTennesseeState took the lead right back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Moore led off the inning with a single and moved to second as Church walked. Douglas hit a bunt single to load the bases and sophomore designated hitter Mike Giroud (St. Petersburg, Fla.) followed with a walk to force Moore in from third. Traylor then brought Church home with a sac fly to right.
West Virginia rallied for two runs in the top of the eighth to tie the score at six. Trent Ridgely doubled down the right field line to lead off the inning and moved to third on a ground out by Stan Posluszny. With two down, Tyler Kuhn singled to center to drive in Ridgely. After a single by Nelms, Kuhn would cross the plate with the tying run as Bowling reached on an infield single and moved to second on an error.
The score would stay tied until the bottom of the ninth. Church reached on an error and moved to second on a single by Douglas. Sophomore catcher John Weddle (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit a sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third. Traylor was intentionally walked to load the bases and with two outs, Hargis came through with his game-winning single in the hole between third base and shortstop.
Lovett pitched well, but did not figure in the decision, allowing three earned runs on five hits in 6.1 innings. Moore earned the win (2-0) pitching the final 1.1 innings, allowing two hits.
Todd Dunham was charged with the loss (0-1) for West Virginia, allowing an unearned run, a walk and two hits in an inning of work.
Hargis led the Bucs at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Moore and Douglas had two hits while Moore and Church scored two runs each.
"Chuck (Hargis) has a tremendous game today," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the win. "He had three big hits and made some tremendous plays in the field."
West Virginia was led by Bowling, Jenkins and Nelms, who each had two hits on the afternoon for the Mountainers.
"We did not execute today on a lot of things that we practice, but we found a way to win," said Skole.
ETSU and West Virginia return to the diamond tomorrow afternoon at for the series finale from CardinalPark in Johnson City, Tenn.