JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (May 22, 2004) - Following an 18-7 win over the Bucs last night, the Furman offense was impressive for the second straight game, leading the Paladins to a 15-10 victory over East Tennessee State Saturday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
Furman (21-32, 11-18 Southern Conference) again took an early lead, scoring five runs in the first two innings. Derek Norman triples with one out in the top of the first and Case Cassedy followed with a two-run homer over the right field wall.
Andrew Greene had an RBI ground out in the top of the second and Joe Daysh hammered a two-run homer to right later in the inning.
East Tennessee State (27-28, 14-15 SoCon) scored its first run of the day as freshman left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) doubled with one out, stole third, then crossed the plate on a double down the left field line by sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.).
The Paladins scored a run on a A.J. Daviduk RBI single in the top of the fourth before the Bucs cut the Paladin lead to 6-3 with a two-run homer by sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) in the bottom of the inning.
But Furman stormed right back, scoring three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth. In the fifth, Nick Mershon laced a two-RBI double while Daysh drove in a run with a single. Sam McLain hit an RBI single in the sixth and Matthew Betsill hit a three-run homer over the right field wall.
With the score, 13-3 in favor of the Paladins, Furman looked like they had control of the game. But the Bucs erupted for six runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the advantage to 13-9. In the inning, senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) hit an RBI single, sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) drove in a run with a double and a run crossed the plate as junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) reached on an error. Church drove in a run with a double down the left field line and Douglas hit a single up the middle to bring home the final two runs of the inning.
The Bucs continued to chip away at the Furman lead as senior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Furman put the game away with two runs in the top of the ninth. McLain led off the inning with a single to right and Nick Wajda came in to pinch-run. Mershon drove in Wajda with a double, and later scored on a squeeze bunt by Greene.
Ryan Hodinka (4-3) earned the win, allowing five runs (none earned) on three hits in 2.1 innings of work. He also walked three and struck out three.
Buccaneer sophomore starter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) was charged with the loss (5-8), going 4.1 innings and allowing eight runs on nine hits.
The Paladins had 16 hits on the day, as McLain, Betsill, Mershon and Daysh each had three. Betsill and Mershon scored three runs while Daysh and Betsill each drove in three runs on the afternoon.
Douglas led the Bucs at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs. Moore, Church and Turner scored twice while Church drove in three runs.
The Bucs and Paladins play the finale of their three-game set tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. Sunday's game will be the final game of the regular season for both teams.