Johnson City, Tenn. -- East Tennessee State sophomore Raymond McBride went 3-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored to lead the Bucs in a 10-6 win against Western Carolina at ETSU's Cardinal Park.
The Bucs' Reid Casey (4-4) earned the win by throwing his third consecutive complete game, allowing six runs on eight hits. Western Carolina's Aaron Kirby (2-6) suffered the loss after allowing seven runs in 2.0 innings. Second baseman Danny Pugh went 3-5 with three runs scored for ETSU.
The Bucs (11-22, 8-11 Southern Conference) began the game with a bang, scoring four in the bottom of the first. Jeremy Terry led off the game with a single and scored on a Pugh double. Ed Sparks followed with a towering home run to left field. After two strikeouts, McBride belted his first home run of the season, over the left-field wall.
Western Carolina (11-27, 7-15 Southern Conference) answered in the top of the second on a three-run shot by Alan Beck that cut the lead to 4-3. ETSU starter Casey helped his cause by singling in his first at-bat of the season and later scoring on a Terry groundout. The Bucs increased their lead to 8-3 in the third. Chad Boruff reached on an error and scored on a Nathan Copeland double. McBride followed with a run-scoring single and later scored on a triple to center field by Chuck Dewald.
ETSU scored two in the fourth to take a 10-3 lead. Pugh and Copeland scored on a single by McBride. In the top of the fifth, WCU's Robert Rudder was hit by Casey and then scored on Rod Goldston's double. The Catamounts scored one in the sixth and one in the seventh to close the score to 10-6. In the seventh, Rudder led off the inning with a walk and later scored on a double-play ground out.
In the bottom of the eighth the Bucs loaded the bases with one out on a single by Pugh and two walks, earned by Sparks and Boruff. Chris Mayes singled in Pugh and Sparks scored on a fielder's choice off McBride's bat that closed the scoring.
ETSU and Western Carolina will play the second game of their three-game series tomorrow at 3 p.m.