Johnson City, Tenn. (Apr. 6, 2002) - East Tennessee State freshman outfielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) recorded his second consecutive game-winning home run against Georgia Southern, leading the Bucs to a 5-3 victory over the Eagles after a two-run blast in the bottom of the ninth Saturday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City.
Traylor's first collegiate home run came during Friday night's game against Georgia Southern and was the margin of victory in the 9-8 Buccaneer win.
Today's game began as a pitcher's duel as neither team got a hit until the bottom of the third. In that inning, ETSU sophomore outfielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) reached on an error to with one out. After stealing second and advancing to third on a by Traylor, Turner scored on a single by freshman catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) to make the score 1-0 in favor of East Tennessee State.
Buccaneer starter Reid Casey (Kingsport, Tenn.) held the Eagles without a hit until the top of the fifth when Matt Herring singled to center. He kept Georgia Southern off the scoreboard until they plated three runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead.
Georgia Southern centerfielder Chris Walker led off the seventh with a single to left field and scored on a triple by the second batter of the inning, third baseman Rocky Baker. Shortstop Jemel Spearman then singled to right field to score Baker. Spearman advanced to second on an error, then moved to third on a groundout by right fielder Matt Herring. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Eagle first baseman Grant Burress.
The Eagles would take that 3-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth, until the Bucs rallied to tie the score. With Moore, senior infielder Brandon Cross (Bluff City, Tenn.) and senior pinch-hitter Scott Rose (Soddy-Daisy, Tenn.) loading the bases, senior right fielder Kirk Keithley (Peoria, Ill.) hit a dribbler to first. Keithley beat the throw to first, as Moore scored on the hit and Rose scored on a subsequent error.
Casey retired the Eagles in order in the top of the ninth, giving the Bucs a chance to win the game with a score in their half of the frame.
Senior infielder Ryan Hyder (Erwin, Tenn.) singled to left field to lead off the final inning. With one out, Traylor came to the plate and turned on an inside pitch on a 1-1 count, hitting it over the wall down the right field line.
Casey (4-4) picked up the win for the Buccaneers, pitching a complete game while allowing two earned runs, on five hits while striking out seven Eagles. Jason Cadenhead (1-2) received the loss for Georgia Southern, pitching two-thirds of an inning, allowing four hits and two runs, striking out two.
Traylor was the only player in the game that had more than one hit, as he went 2-5 with a run scored and two RBI.
The win runs ETSU's record to 9-19, 3-8 in Southern Conference play. Georgia Southern falls to 21-14, 9-5 in SoCon contests.
East Tennessee State and Georgia Southern square off in the final game of their weekend series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.