Bucs tame 10th ranked Missouri Tigers 3-2
Bucs tame 10th ranked Missouri Tigers 3-2
Thursday, February 9, 2006

(Feb. 9, 2006) - Senior first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) drove in two runs, and three Buccaneer pitchers combined for a four-hitter as the Baseball Bucs downed 10th ranked Missouri 3-2 in the first game of the Buccaneer Classic at Charleston Southern University.  It is the first win over a top-10 opponent in recorded Buccaneer history.


"This was a great team win," said head coach Tony Skole. "I was very inspired by our entire team today. All 29 guys did an outstanding job of supporting each other and helping the team succeed."


The Bucs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when junior C.J. Lee (Bristol, Va.) came home on senior Shane Byrne's (Johnson City, Tenn.) one-out RBI single.  Lee reached on third baseman John McKee's throwing error and advanced to second when the ball found its way into the ETSU dugout, and Byrne smoked the next offering from Missouri starter Stephen Holst into center field for his fourth RBI of the season.


Both teams squandered bases loaded scoring opportunities in the fourth inning, junior catcher John Weddle (Knoxville, Tenn.) grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the Bucs one-out bases loaded threat in the top half of the inning.  The Tigers loaded the bases with one out as well in their half of the inning, but starter Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) induced a pop out to the shortstop and came up with his fourth and biggest strikeout of the day to kill the rally.


Hall again pitched out of trouble in the sixth after Tiger first baseman Derek Chambers led off the inning with the first Missouri hit of the day, Hall walked catcher Jacob Priday giving the Tigers runners at the first two with nobody out in the frame.  With a full count on the next batter, left fielder Zane Taylor, the Tigers called for a double steal.  Taylor ripped a liner to left, but it found Lee's glove and Lee caught Chambers well off second base for the double play. 


The Bucs increased their lead in the seventh when Church's bases loaded sacrifice fly brought home Weddle for a 2-0 ETSU lead.


The Tigers pushed across their first run of the contest in the eighth inning when right fielder Hunter Mense led off with a bunt single, advanced to second on a balk and moved past the final two stations on a pair of sacrifice flies.


Hall was masterful for his six innings, surrendering just one hit and striking out six Missouri batters, keeping the Tiger offense off-balance all day with an array of pitches.  Redshirt freshman Trey Sheffield (Alpharetta, Ga.) struck out four batters in two-innings of relief work, and senior Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) closed the door on any hopes of a Tiger rally for his first save of the season.


"We played really well," said Skole. "We threw strikes and got some timely hits.  If we do those things consistently, we're going to win a lot of games this year."


The Bucs continue play at the Buccaneer Classic on Friday with a 2:30 pm tilt against Pac-10 opponent Washington State.