JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 13, 2003) - The College of Charleston Cougars withstood a spirited rally by East Tennessee State in the final two innings to hold on for a 17-16 victory in the finale of a three-game series Sunday afternoon from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
The Bucs (10-21, 6-11 Southern Conference), scored eight runs in the final two frames, but the comeback fell just short as freshman left fielder Beau Alford (Johnson City, Tenn.) was thrown out at the plate on a single by freshman third baseman Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) to end the game.
With the win, College of Charleston earned a series sweep and raised their record to 22-14, 10-5 in SoCon games.
For the third consecutive game, the Cougars got on the board early, scoring three runs in the top of the first. In fact, the explosive College of Charleston offense scored in all but one inning on Sunday, going scoreless in the sixth. East Tennessee State stayed with the Cougars early, scoring runs in each of the first five innings.
But with College of Charleston in front 15-8 in the eighth, it looked as if the Cougars had a comfortable advantage. However, in the bottom of the frame, ETSU sent 12 men to the plate and scored six runs to cut the lead to just one, 15-14. The Bucs got just two hits in the inning, but kept the inning going with five walks, a hit batsman, a balk and an error. The inning could have potentially been bigger, but with the bases loaded and just one out, Barry Richardson struck out the final two batters of the inning to prevent any further damage.
College of Charleston scored two runs in the top of the ninth to bump their lead back up to three, 17-14, but the Bucs would battle back again in the bottom of the frame.
Junior shortstop Andy Howdeshell (Maryville, Tenn.) led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch for the second consecutive at-bat. Then, with one out, junior center fielder Tim Turner (Marietta, Ga.) drilled a double to right field, advancing Howdeshell to third. After a walk to Alford, Turner and Howdeshell would come home on a single by freshman first baseman Steven Calicutt (Spartanburg, S.C.) that cut the Cougar lead to just one again, 17-16. But that was as close as ETSU would get, as a great throw from left field by Brett Gardner prevented Alford from crossing the plate with the tying run.
James Fender (3-2) picked up the win for College of Charleston, after entering the game in the fourth and pitching two innings, allowing three runs on three hits and walking a batter. Freshman righty Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) (0-3) was charged with the loss for ETSU after allowing eight runs on nine hits in four innings.
Freshman right fielder Jordan Abromovitz (South Park, Pa.) had a career day at the plate for ETSU, going 2-for-3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Three of those RBI came on a home run that tied the game in the bottom of the second. Sophomore designated hitter Davis Burklin (Knoxville, Tenn.) also homered in the game, hitting a solo shot in the first. Howdeshell, Calicutt, Alford and Byrne led the Bucs with three hits each.
Second baseman Lee Curtis led the Cougars on Sunday afternoon, going 3-for-5 with five RBI and four runs scored, including a two-run homer in the fourth. Catcher Matt Lauderdale also had a great day, going 4-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI.
College of Charleston set a school record with 10 doubles on the day, while Lauderdale collected his 51st career double, also a new school record.
East Tennessee State returns to the diamond on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. as the Bucs take on in-state rival Tennessee from Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn. College of Charleston returns to action on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. as they travel to Charleston Southern.