LEXINGTON, Ky. (Mar. 3, 2004) - With the score tied at 7-7 in the ninth, East Tennessee State scored five runs to earn a 12-7 win over Kentucky Tuesday afternoon from Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington, Ky. It marks ETSU's first win over a Southeastern Conference team since defeating Tennessee in 1999.
The matchup between the Wildcats and Bucs got started late as rain delayed the start of the game for over two hours.
After taking the field, the Bucs took the lead early, scoring two runs in the top of the first. With one out, sophomore right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) singled to left field and moved to third on another single to left by senior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.). Howdeshell then stole second and third and scored on a clutch two-out double on a 3-2 count by sophomore second baseman Josiah Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.).
ETSU added a run to their lead in the top of the second. Sophomore third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) singled to center to lead off the inning then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by senior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.). Roberts advanced to third on a wild pitch and crossed the plate on a ground out to first by sophomore left fielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.).
Kentucky stormed back with two runs in the bottom of the second to cut the Buccaneer lead to one. Designated hitter Billy Grace reached on a fielder's choice and was on board when center fielder John Shelby hit a two-run homer over the right-field wall. The Wildcats had runners on first and second with just one out, by Buccaneer freshman righty Caleb Glafenhein (Knoxville, Tenn.) was able to get the next two batters to fly out to get out of the jam.
East Tennessee State ran their lead to 6-2 with three runs in the top of the third. Howdeshell led off the inning with his second homer of the season over the right field wall. Sophomore first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) followed with a single to left and moved to third on a double down the left field line by Josiah Glafenhein. Church crossed the plate on a RBI single by junior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Glafenhein would score on a sacrifice fly by sophomore designated hitter Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.).
Kentucky immediately responded again, scoring two runs in the bottom of the third. Right fielder Caleb Stewart led off the inning with a walk and would score on a subsequent double by first baseman Mike Breyman. Breyman advanced to third on a grounder to second by third baseman Jesse Barber, and scored on another grounder to second, this one by Grace.
The Bucs tacked another run on to their lead in the top of the fourth. Byrne turned on an inside fastball and hit it off of the foul pole down the right field line for his first homer of the season. Barber responded in the bottom of the fifth, belting a solo homer of his own to right to make the score 7-5.
The Wildcats cut the Buccaneer lead to just one with a run in the bottom of the seventh. Barber walked with one out, moved to third on a single by Grace and scored on a single by Shelby. Kentucky had two on with one out, but sophomore righty Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) was able to strike out the next two batters looking.
East Tennessee State began their rally in the ninth as Church, Josiah Glafenhein and Moore loaded the bases with consecutive singles with no outs. With one out, Church scored on a wild pitch, then Glafenhein crossed the plate on a bunt single by pinch-hitter Justin Clear (Lafollette, Tenn.). Moore would cross the plate next on a passed ball. With two down, Traylor struck out but reached on a passed a ball to prolong the inning. Byrne then came to the plate and hit a double down the right field line to plate Clear and Traylor.
Moore (1-0) got his first collegiate win after pitching a scoreless ninth inning. James Rodriguez (0-2) pitched well in relief for Kentucky, but was charged with the loss after allowing three runs on nine hits in six innings. Rodriguez also struck out 12 Buccaneer batters.
Byrne led the Bucs at the plate, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. Moore also had three hits while Josiah Glafenhein had three.
East Tennessee State will continue on the road for their first Southern Conference series of the season at Davidson. Game one of the series is scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m. from Wildcat Park in Davidson, N.C. and live stats will be available for the series on the baseball page of ETSU's athletic website, www.ETSUBucs.com.