Baseball Bucs snap home losing skid, top Hatters 11-10
Senior Shane Byrne drove in three runs against the Hatters.
Senior Shane Byrne drove in three runs against the Hatters.

Friday, May 05, 2006

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 5, 2006) - Behind a five-run rally in the sixth, the ETSU baseball team hung on to win an 11-10 slugfest over Atlantic Sun foe Stetson, Friday evening at Cardinal Park.  With the win, the Bucs improve to 24-21, 10-12 in the A-Sun, while the Hatters stand at 28-18, 12-10 in conference.  The Bucs snapped a seven-game home losing streak in conference play.


Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) got the scoring started in the sixth, smacking a two-run triple to center, plating Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) and Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.).  Church has a sensational night at the plate, going 3-for-3, with three RBI and a run scored.  Two of Church's base knocks were triples, his second and third of the year.


C.J. Lee (Bristol, Va.) followed with an RBI single to right, before scoring on a double from Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.).  Traylor came home on a wild pitch to score the final run of the inning and put the Bucs up, 11-8.


Stetson mounted a charge of its own in top of the ninth, thanks to a two-run homerun from Brian Pruitt, but couldn't muster enough offense as the Bucs held on for the win.  Following Pruitt's home run, closer Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) retired the next three Hatter batters for his eighth save of the season.


The Hatters took leads in the first, third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but ETSU responded in the bottom half of each frame to tie the game.  The Bucs squandered chances to take the lead in every inning except the fifth, leaving a combined six runners aboard, but finally broke through in the sixth, securing a lead they would never relinquish.


Church finished the day 3-for-3 with two triples and three RBI, and senior Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) finished 3-for-4, and also had three RBI.


Sophomore Joey McCown (Alcoa, Tenn.) improved to 6-1, picking up the win in relief of starter Darren Caldwell (Spartanburg, S.C.).  Nathan Nery (7-5) took the loss, surrendering six runs in 1 2/3 innings of action.


The series continues Saturday evening from Cardinal Park.  First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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