Bucs eject Tennessee from Cardinal Park, 10-9
Nick Belcher
Nick Belcher

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 9, 2008) - A day after posting an offensive explosion at Radford, the ETSU baseball team put together yet another magnifying performance by pulling off an upset against in-state rival Tennessee Wednesday night at Cardinal Park. The Bucs and Vols battled back and forth as ETSU came out on top, 10-9.

 

Wednesday's game had an electrifying atmosphere as a season-high 1,273 fans witnessed a classic thriller. The game continued to build excitement as the Bucs answered every punch the Vols threw at them and finally hit the pinnacle in the top of the eighth, which proved to be a huge momentum maker, as UT's head coach Todd Raleigh and their assistant, Bradley LeCroy, got the early exit from the game.

 

ETSU (8-24, 6-12) were out hit by the Vols 15-11, but did a good job of getting clutch hits when they needed them. Head coach Tony Skole recorded his 299th career victory in the win. Darren Caldwell (Spartanburg, S.C.) got his first win of the season.

 

Tennessee got on the board in the first inning as they scored two runs on a double by Jeff Lockwood to right center to make the score 2-0. In the bottom of the first, Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga.) drove in Nick Belcher (Abingdon, Va.) to cut the Vols lead to 2-1. Later in the inning the Bucs would take a 3-2 lead on an RBI double by Danny Petro (Atlanta, Ga.) and a grounder to short by Bart Roark (Mountain City, Tenn.).

 

The Vols retook the lead in the top of the second as they scored three runs on RBI singles by Danny Lima and Shawn Griffin and a walk by Yan Gomes to take a 6-3 lead.

 

In the bottom of the third, Roark singled up the middle driving in Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md.)  to make the score 6-4.

 

The Bucs took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a Belcher two-run blast to left and a RBI double to left center by Paul Hoilman (Johnson City, Tenn.) driving in Russell to give the Bucs a 7-6 lead.

 

Tennessee tied the game up in the top of the fifth on a RBI single by Lima. Later in the inning, the Vols took the lead on a P.J. Polk RBI double to center to make the score 8-7.

 

The Vols extended their lead to 9-7 in the top of the sixth as they scored a run on a grounder to short. Mendez tied things up again in the bottom of the sixth as he drove a pitch over the right field fence for a two-run home run. The Bucs took the lead on a Ben Allen single to left driving in Petro to give ETSU a 10-9 lead.

 

Raleigh and Lecroy were tossed in the top of the eight after arguing a close play at second as Raleigh was thrown out by third base umpire Darryl Arnold, and LeCroy was tossed by home play umpire Chris Jenkins.

 

The Bucs took the momentum from the top of the eighth and carried it into the top of the ninth as senior Brandon Langston (Ringgold, Ga.) came in and shut the door to collect his first career save.

 

Mendez led the Bucs with three RBI, while Belcher was 2-for-3, scored three runs and had two RBI. Roark, Hoilman and Russell also had good days for the Bucs ad Roark and Hoilman went 2-for-4 at the plate, and Russell scored three runs.

 

The Bucs are back in action this weekend as they will host conference opponent Gardner-Webb for a three-game series starting Friday at 7 p.m. at Cardinal Park as coach Skole will be going for his 300th career win.

 

ETSU 10, Tennessee 9 (April 9, 2008 at Johnson City, Tenn.)
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UT...............240  021  000   -  9  15  3   (20-12, 7-5 SEC)

ETSU..........301  303  00X   -  10  11  1   (8-24, 6-12 A-Sun)

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Pitchers: ETSU -  Ty Sarchet; Drew Story (3); Darren Caldwell (6); Dustin Plumlee (7); Ben Andrews (8); Brandon Langston (9)
UTF -  Joey Rosas; D. J. Leffler (4); Ty'Relle Harris (7)

Win -  Darren Caldwell (1-0) Loss - Steve Crnkovich (4-4) Save - Brandon Langston (1)

HR - ETSU - Nick Belcher (4); Troy Mendez (4)

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