ETSU Baseball stays perfect with 6-1 victory over Xavier
ETSU Baseball stays perfect with 6-1 victory over Xavier
Sunday, February 27, 2005

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Feb. 27, 2005) - The East Tennessee State baseball team won their sixth-consecutive game to open the 2005 season, completing a three-game sweep over Xavier with a 6-1 victory Sunday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.

            The Bucs (6-0) took an early lead and never looked back after scoring three runs in the bottom of the third. Junior shortstop Chuck Hargis (Powell, Tenn.) led off the inning with an infield single then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore catcher John Weddle (Knoxville, Tenn.). After advancing to third on a passed ball, Hargis crossed the plate on a RBI bunt single by senior second baseman Nick Crowe (Johnson City, Tenn.). Junior right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) then came to the plate and hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot over the right field wall.

            ETSU added to their lead with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) led off the inning with a single up the middle and was on third when junior third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) hit his first homer of the season, a opposite-field two-run blast.

            Xavier (0-6) got on the board with a run in the top of the seventh. Sean Brewer singled to center to lead off the inning, then moved to third on an error as Drew Roberts reached on a fielder's choice. Matt Lucas then hit into a fielder's choice to score Brewer. Buccaneer junior lefty Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) was able to avoid any further damage, stranding Musketeer runners on second and third.

            East Tennessee State scored their final run in the bottom of the seventh. Weddle was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, then moved to second on a single to center by Crowe. Both runners moved up on a failed pickoff attempt, and Weddle would cross the plate on a sacrifice fly by junior first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga).

            The Musketeers threatened again in the top of the eighth, as they loaded the bases with one out. But Buccaneer senior relievers Trevor Smith (Newport, Tenn.) and Michael Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.) each picked up a key out to stop the potential rally. Bauer also pitched a scoreless ninth to preserve the victory.

            Calicutt (2-0) earned the win after his second-consecutive impressive start, going 7.1 innings and allowing no earned runs on seven hits. He also walked two and struck out two. Bauer earned his first save of the season after pitching the final 1.1 innings and allowing one hit and striking out one batter.

            Brett Smith (0-1) was charged with the loss for Xavier after allowing three runs on five hits in five innings pitched.

            Crowe, Roberts and junior centerfielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) each had two hits on the day while Roberts and Byrne drove in two runs.

            Xavier was paced by Brewer and Andy Zellers, who each had two hits in the loss.

            The Bucs return to action Tuesday against Kentucky in the opener of a two-game midweek series. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. from Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky.