Western Carolina holds on to defeat Buccaneer Baseball, 13-12

Saturday, March 22, 2003

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (March 22, 2003) -- Despite East Tennessee State scoring three runs in the top of the eighth, Western Carolina was able to hold on for a 13-12 victory over the Buccaneers Saturday afternoon at Hennon Stadium in Cullowhee, N.C. The Catamounts improve to 16-8 overall and 7-1 in the Southern Conference, while ETSU falls to 7-14, 3-5. Western Carolina raced out to a 7-2 lead through four innings, but the Bucs exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 7-7. Western answered with four runs in the bottom half of the inning to regain an 11-7 advantage. East Tennessee State cut its deficit to two, 11-9, with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh only to have the Cats post two runs in the bottom of the eighth for a 13-9 lead. The Bucs then scored three in the top of the eighth to make the score 13-12, but could get no closer. Junior starter Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) took the loss for the Bucs, falling to 1-4 on the year. He allowed 10 hits and 10 runs (six earned) in four-plus innings of work. East Tennessee State, who committed five errors on the day, was led on offense by sophomore catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) and freshman third baseman Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.). The pair each had three hits, while Byrne drove in four and Moore scored twice. Sophomore deshgnated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxvile, Tenn.), freshman first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) and freshman center fielder Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) each contributed two hits with Church and Calicutt combined for five RBI. WCU's Derrick Hawk improved to 3-0 on the year, pitching 2.2 innings in relief. Ryan Foster got the final four outs of the game to record his second save of the season and the 17th of his career, which is only three shy of the school record. The Cats were led offensively by Wayne Kilmer, who went 5-for-6 with four runs scored. Third baseman Brett Kasten, who got his third start of the season, responded with a 2-for-4 performance and driving in a career-high four runners. Right fielder Alex Gary also had a solid day by going 4-for-5 with three runs scored. Western jumped out to an early lead thanks to an RBI single by Alan Beck, who was 2-for-5 on the day. The Cats tallied two more runs in the second on Kasten's two-run single. The Bucs made it 2-1 in the top of the third as sophomore shortstop Justin Clear (LaFollette, Tenn.) and Moore each doubled in the frame. The Bucs then made it a 4-2 game as freshman right fielder Jordan Abromovitz (South Park, Pa.) hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth. The Catamounts took advantage of three hits and two ETSU errors in scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth, making the score 7-2. Todd Roper had an RBI fielder's choice and advanced to second on a throwing error, allowing both McDowell and Gary to score. Three batters later, Todd Buchanan drove in the first of his two runs on the day and Denver Edick hit the first of his two sacrifice flies. East Tennessee State rallied for five runs on five hits in the fifth, chasing WCU starter Ryan Basner and relief pitcher Joe Camac. Burklin, Church and Calicutt each delivered RBI singles, while Byrne capped the inning with a two-run double to left. WCU's Hawk came in to strike out Clear to end the inning. Western responded with four runs in the bottom half. A McDowell single and Gary double set up a two-run triple for Kasten. Roper followed with an RBI single, while Buchanan drove in Kilmer later in the inning. ETSU kept battling and made the score 11-9 in the top of the sixth on Church's two-run double. Western scored what proved to be the winning runs in the bottom of the seventh. Edick plated Kilmer on a sacrifice fly and Rod Goldston singled home Beck. In the eighth, the Bucs got an RBI infield single by Calicutt and a two-run single by Byrne to provide the final margin. East Tennessee State and Western Carolina finish their three-game series on Sunday (Mar. 23)from Cullowhee, N.C. First pitch is set for 1 pm.