Big Inning Powers ETSU Past Belmont, 9-4

Sunday, April 01, 2001

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 1) -- East Tennessee State (11-19) rallied from a one-run deficit with an explosive eight-run sixth inning and cruised to a 9-4 victory over the Belmont Bruins (22-12) on Sunday afternoon.

The Bucs took the early lead 1-0 after an Andy Baxter double plated Kirk Keithley in the third inning. Belmont bounced back in the bottom of the fifth inning with a pair of runs of their own. Dan Soukup started things with a leadoff single back up the middle. A double by first baseman Jim Forrester and a walk by Chris Sledge loaded the bases for Charlie Cordin. The Bruins' starting shortstop would then drill a two-out single to centerfield, giving Belmont a brief 2-1 lead. ETSU responded with eight runs in the sixth inning.

The Bucs pounded out seven hits and took advantage of a hit batter and a walk to take a 9-2 lead. The team batted around with Brandon Cross collecting two hits in the inning while Baxter and Scott Rose each drove in a pair of runs. Starter Matt Hensley took advantage of the big lead for ETSU, throwing 7.0 innings while scattering only six hits by the Bruins. Belmont was able to score two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but reliever Bryan Crouse induced a double play to end the Bruins threat.

Hensley picked up the win for ETSU and improved to 2-3 while Brandon Jaggers fell to 5-2 with the loss. Six Bucs had multi-hit games, led by leftfielder Brandon Cross. Jim Forrester went 2-for-3 to pace Belmont.

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