Johnson City, Tenn. (May 7, 2002) - Nick Jaska just missed hitting for the cycle and UNC Asheville scored six runs in the eighth inning as the Bulldogs staged a come-from-behind 11-9 win in non-conference baseball action this evening at Cardinal Park. The game was called before the bottom of the ninth could be played due to heavy rain.
East Tennessee State (18-27) took an early 3-0 lead with a pair of runs in the first on RBI singles by Mike Giroud (St. Petersburg, Fla.) and Scott Rose (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.) and a run in the third on an RBI double by Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.).
After not allowing a hit in the first three innings, ETSU starter Donnie Sharp (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) lost his effectiveness, allowing five runs over the next three innings. In the fourth UNCA (19-23) loaded the bases with one out and scored its first run on a sac fly from Israel Victor. The Bulldogs then got two-run home runs in the fifth from Jaska and in the sixth from Denver Edick to take a 5-3 lead.
ETSU tied it in the bottom of the sixth when the Bucs loaded the bases with one out. Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) delivered a sac fly to score the first run before UNCA pitcher Seth Denton was called for a balk, allowing Ryan Hyder (Erwin, Tenn.) to score the tying run.
The Bucs then scored four more in the seventh to take a 9-5 lead. ETSU again loaded the bases, this time with no outs, before Hyder walked to force in the first run. Turner drove in his second run of the night with a sharp single to right before Jeremy Terry (Cumberland, Ky.) brought home the final two with a single to left.
UNC Asheville was not done, however, putting together a six-run eighth that proved to be the game winner. Jaska delivered the first run of the inning with a one-out double down the line in left and then moved to third on a wild pitch. After a walk put runners on the corners, Jarrod Hyder (Elizabethton, Tenn.) came on to pitch, but gave up an RBI single to Jake McGoniga. After getting the second out of the inning, the pinch-hitter Todd Coggins singled home anther run. Hyder then struck out Curtis Moncus, only to see Moncus reach first when the third strike got away from the ETSU catcher. Victor then doubled home a run before the final tally scored on an error by Terry at shortstop.
McGoniga then came out of center field to pitch in the eighth, shutting down ETSU to earn the save for Steven Cook, who got the Bulldogs out of trouble in the seventh. Jaska was 3-for-5 with three RBIs, smacking a double, triple and a home run on the night to lead the UNCA offense. He was the only Bulldog with more than one hit.
ETSU was led by Keithley who also had a 3-for-5 night, scoring twice and driving in one run. Hyder wound up with the loss for the Bucs, his first of the season, allowing three runs and three hits in 1.2 innings on the mound.
East Tennessee State and UNC Asheville will play again tomorrow, this time in a doubleheader in Asheville starting at 1:00 p.m.