Baseball Bucs drop fourth straight, 9-7

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (May 8, 2007) - The Tennessee Tech offense delivered when given the opportunity for big innings Tuesday night, and the Golden Eagle pitchers denied the ETSU bats in similar situations as the Bucs stranded 14 runners en route to dropping their fourth consecutive contest, 9-7 at Bush Stadium.  Tennessee Tech sweeps the season series from the Bucs for the first time since 1997.

 

Holding a 1-0 lead after the first inning, the Bucs were outscored 6-1 over the next three frames, and the Golden Eagles pulled away in the sixth, plating three runs on two homers for a 9-3 lead.

 

The Bucs (26-23) threatened in the seventh inning, drawing a bases loaded walk and scoring one more on a bases loaded catcher's interference call, cutting the lead to 9-5.  With two outs and the bases loaded, senior C.J. Lee (Bristol, Va.) drove Matt Kearney's 0-1 offering deep into the gap in left center field, but left fielder Josh Goodwin tracked down the blast just before the wall.

 

Down 9-5 entering the ninth inning, the Bucs strung together a pair of one-out singles from seniors John Weddle (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Michael Courtney (Knoxville, Tenn.).  After sophomore Troy Mendez (Roswell, Ga.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, freshman Ryan Self's (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) grounder to second base found its way past second baseman Matt Mihoci plating two runs.  With runners on second and third and just one out, Tech reliever Brantley Kilgore recorded a strike out and a fly out to end the threat and register his first save of the season.

 

The Golden Eagles (24-23) stranded just six runners on the night, while the Bucs left 14 aboard; ending three innings with the bases loaded.

 

Courtney finished the day 3-for-3 with and RBI and two walks, while junior Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md.) drove in two runs, reaching 40 RBI on the season.

 

Tennessee Tech starter Adam Liberatore struck out six and held the Bucs to three runs in five innings of work, improving to 3-3 on the season.  Sophomore Michael Dillow (Gray, Tenn.) allowed one run in his only inning of work, falling to 0-1.

 

The Bucs return to action Friday night, opening a three-game set with Atlantic Sun Conference rival Jacksonville at Cardinal Park.  First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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