JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Mar. 20, 2004) - East Tennessee State pounded out season-highs with 23 hits and 18 runs as the Bucs defeated No. 29 UNC Greensboro, 18-6, in game two of a three-game weekend series Saturday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Bucs (12-12, 3-5 SoCon) took the advantage early and never looked back, scoring four runs in the bottom of the second. Following a single by sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.), senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) stepped to the plate and hit a towering two-run homer over the right-center field wall. With two outs, junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) hit an RBI double and sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) added to the lead with an RBI single.
East Tennessee State ran their lead to 6-0 with two more runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) led off the inning with a double down the right field line, and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman designated hitter David Yates (Douglasville, Ga.). With two down, Howdeshell walked, stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and then stole home while sophomore center fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.) was caught in a rundown between first and second.
The Spartans (14-4, 3-2 SoCon) got on the board as they scored a run in the top of the fifth and two in the sixth. In the fifth, second baseman Jeremy Roulin walked, stole second and came home on a single by center fielder Ryan Gordon. In the sixth, right fielder Jay Maule walked, then was on base as designated hitter Ryan Galligan hit a two-run homer to right-center.
After UNCG cut the Buccaneer lead to three, East Tennessee State caught fire, scoring 12 runs over the final three innings. The Bucs tallied four runs in the sixth inning, three in the seventh and five in the eighth to ice the game.
ETSU sophomore lefty Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) earned the win, pitching 5.2 strong innings. Calicutt (2-3) allowed three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking five.
"Steven Calicutt gave us a great start this afternoon," said ETSU head coach Tony Skole following the win. "He was sharp over his 5.2 innings and gave us a chance to win."
Jay Metzger (2-1) was charged with the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in two innings. He also struck out one and walked one.
Moore and Douglas led the Bucs at the plate with four hits while Traylor, Church, Roberts and Howdeshell collected three hits. Moore also scored four runs while Church drove in five.
Gordon went 4-for-5 for the Spartans, extending his hitting streak to 24 games.
"Our hitters came out aggressive and got good swings," commented Skole. "We also got several hits with runners in scoring position today, which is something we have not done well all year. I am proud of all our hitters and I am proud of the way Steven (Calicutt) threw strikes."
East Tennessee State and UNC Greensboro will play the final game of their three-game Southern Conference series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.