Friday, April 19, 2002Johnson City, Tenn. (April 19, 2002) - The College of Charleston put a hurt on East Tennessee State's pitching staff here tonight, pounding out 20 hits on its way to a 17-0 pasting of the Buccaneers in Southern Conference baseball action at Cardinal Park. The Cougars also got some impressive pitching from Matt Rackers who held ETSU to four hits in eight innings on the mound. The College of Charleston (24-13, 10-6 SoCon) was in control all the way, scoring in every inning but the eighth. The Cougars got things started in the first, when, with a runner already on third, Lee Curtis and Matt Lauderdale laced back-to-back doubles that plated one run. Charleston kept up the heat on ETSU (14-22, 7-9 SoCon) starter Donnie Sharp (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) in the second, scoring four more times on four hits. The Cougars started the inning with three straight hits, with Mickey Torello getting a single to center that scored a pair of runs for the Cougars. Jasha Balcom polished off the inning with his second home run of the season to deep right, and it was 5-0 in favor of the Cougars. Victor Martinez drove in a pair of runs in a three run third for Charleston before the Cougars put the game out of reach with five more scores in the fourth. The big blow for Charleston in that inning was a bases loaded double by Brett Anderson that cleared the bases. Rackers did the rest, at one point setting down 14 consecutive Buc hitters. He struck out three and walked just one to pick up his fifth win of the season. Balcom, Brett Spivey, Zach Strong and Anderson all had three hits for the Cougars, with Anderson smacking a pair of doubles while driving in four runs and scoring twice. Sharp was hit hard for ETSU after three straight strong outings, giving up 10 hits and eight runs in just three innings on the mound. Scott Rose (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.), Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.), Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.) and Michael Giroud (St. Petersburg, Fla.) collected the hits for the Bucs, with Cross and Giroud both getting doubles. ETSU and Charleston will play the second game of the three-game series Saturday at Cardinal Park, with game time set at 2:00 p.m.
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