Bucs ride Mendez's hot bat to 9-3 win over Tennessee
Troy Mendez
Troy Mendez

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (March 31, 2009) - Senior left fielder Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga.) continued his hot hitting as ETSU defeated in-state rival Tennessee Tuesday night at Cardinal Park, 9-3.


The Bucs (13-11, 5-7 A-Sun) have won five of their last seven meetings against the Vols. With the loss, Tennessee falls to 11-16 on the season.


Starter Chas Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) limited the Vols to three runs (one earned) on four hits with four walks and a season high seven strikeouts as he improved to 3-1 on the year.


The Bucs took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as Mendez homered for his sixth time of the season down the left field line.


Centerfielder Matthew Scruggs (Knoxville, Tenn.) added another run for the Bucs in the bottom of the second as he tripled off of the fence in left center to score Derek Trent (Kingsport, Tenn.) to make the score 2-0 ETSU.


In the top of the third, the Bucs made a great relay to cut down Mike Hornsby at the plate to keep the Vols off of the board.


Tennessee tied the game at 2-all in the top of the fifth as Kentrail Davis drove a ball over the fence in left for a two-run home run.


Freshman Bo Reeder (Cookeville, Tenn.) gave the Bucs the lead back in the bottom of the fifth as he crushed a ball over the fence in right for his eighth home run of the season to make the score 3-2 Bucs.


With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth freshman Cory Betterson (Atlanta, Ga.) drew a walk to score Ben Allen (Kingsport, Tenn.) to extend the ETSU lead to 4-2. Later in the inning, Mendez blew the game wide open as he hit a grand slam over the fence in right for his second home run of the game giving the Bucs an 8-2 lead.


 The Vols cut into the ETSU lead in the top of the seventh on a Davis RBI triple to center to cut the lead to 8-3.


Trent added a little insurance for the Bucs in the bottom of the seventh as he singled in Allen to increase the lead to 9-3.


Senior Darren Caldwell (Spartanburg, S.C.) came in and shut down the Tennessee offense going 2.1 scoreless innings not allowing a hit with two walks and a strikeout.


Will Laconte (1-1) was tabbed with the loss after 2.0 innings of work. ETSU was led offensively by Mendez as he was 3-for-5 on the night with two home runs and five RBI. Trent also had double-digit hits for the Bucs.


The Bucs are back in action tomorrow at 7 p.m. as the Bucs head to Cookeville, Tenn. to take on Tennessee Tech at Bush Stadium. Please visit www.ETSUBucs.com for more information on ETSU baseball and all other Buccaneer athletic news.


ETSU 9, Tennessee 3 (March 31, 2009 at Johnson City, Tenn.)
UT.................. 000  020  100   -  3      4      0   (11-16, 1-8 SEC)

ETSU............ 110  015  10x    -  9    10     2   (13-11, 5-7 A-Sun)

Pitchers: ETSU - Chas Byrne; Darren Caldwell (7)

UT - Danny Wiltz; Will Locante (4); Ty'Relle Harris (6); Ryne Simpson (7); Steven Gruver (8)

Win - Chas Byrne (3-1) Loss - Will Locante (1-1) 

HR - ETSU - Troy Mendez 2(7); Bo Reeder (8)

UT - Kentrail Davis (4)

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