Aughey's heroic three-run blast leads Bucs past Xavier, 9-4
Senior centerfielder Stephen Douglas had a solo home run in the win over Xavier.
Senior centerfielder Stephen Douglas had a solo home run in the win over Xavier.

Friday, February 17, 2006

(Feb. 17, 2006) - A three-run home run by junior catcher Justin Aughey (Davie, Fla.) and a solo blast off the bat of senior centerfielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) highlighted a five-run seventh inning for State baseball, as the Buccaneers took a 9-4 win over Xavier Friday afternoon at Howard Johnson Field.

 

With the win, ETSU takes the series from the Musketeers, winning two of three and improving to 4-3 on the season. Meanwhile, Xavier drops to 1-2.

 

The Buccaneers broke through first in the bottom of the third inning, scoring two runs off Xavier starting pitcher Mike Lucas. Designated hitter Matt Traylor (Knoxville) got things started with a single, and later scored when second baseman Michael Courtney (Knoxville) dropped down a bunt and Lucas threw the ball away at first base. As Courtney attempted to advance to third, Musketeers' first baseman Sean Brewer then committed the second error on the play by firing the ball past third baseman Drew Roberts and allowing Courtney to score.

 

Xavier answered back to tie the game at 2-2 with single runs in the top of the fourth and the top of the sixth. The first run came on a solo home run by designated hitter Dan Hayden in the fourth, and the second came after a pair of Buccaneer errors allowed Brewer to reach third base in the sixth. He later scored on a double play ground ball off the bat of Hayden.

 

The Bucs regained the lead at 4-2 in bottom of the sixth when senior first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a double by catcher Justin Aughey. Both Church and Aughey scored later on a double down the left field line by junior left fielder C.J. Lee. Xavier quickly answered in the top of the seventh, when ETSU starting pitcher Mike Lucas walked the leadoff hitter and ETSU reliever Trey Sheffield later walked the Musketeers' second batter of the inning. Sheffield then gave up a two-run single to Xavier third baseman Drew Roberts.

 

But in the bottom of the seventh, the Bucs took command. ETSU scored first when Xavier reliever Brett Greenwell balked to score Courtney. Then, after a walk to Church, Aughey sent his blast over the left field wall to give the Bucs an 8-4 advantage. Douglas then followed with his solo shot. It was the first home run of the season for both Aughey and Douglas.

 

While ETSU starter Ryan Howe (Spartanburg, S.C.) put together a solid 6 1/3 innings of work, giving up just two earned runs and striking out five, it was Buc reliever Jimmy Tidwell (Acworth, Ga.) who picked up the win, working a scoreless 2 1/3 innings to improve to 1-0 on the season. For Xavier, Brett Greenwell (0-1) took the loss.

 

At the plate, Aughey led the way with a pair of hits and three RBIs, while Courtney was 3-of-5 with two runs scored. Lee finished with a hit and two RBIs. For Xavier, Roberts, Hayden and Adam Lipski each had two hits.

 

State baseball will return to action at Georgia Tech on Tuesday at 4 p.m. For more on the Bucs, visit ETSUBucs.com.

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