Thursday, May 17, 2001CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Pinch-hitter Michael Mainor hit a sacrifice fly to score Jason Randall with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and lead The Citadel to a 3-2 win over East Tennessee State in the final game of the opening round of the Wendy's/Pepsi-Cola Southern Conference Baseball Tournament being played at Riley Park.
The win moved The Citadel (35-22) into a winner's bracket semifinal on Thursday at 7:30 where it will meet Appalachian State. With the loss, East Tennessee State (22-31) drops into the loser's bracket and will face Furman at 10 am on Thursday.
In the decisive eighth inning, Randall led off the frame with an infield single. David Griffin sacrificed Randall to second and then a wild pitch moved Randall to third. ETSU starter Reid Casey walked Brook Dantzler before being relieved by Jackson Simerly. The first batter Simerly faced was Mainor who lifted a fly to right field. Nathan Copeland made the catch but his throw to the plate was not in time to catch Randall. The run gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
The Bulldogs staked a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Daryl Byrd walked, moved to second on a single by Dallas McPherson, and advanced to third on a passed ball. He scored on an infield ground out by Philip Hartig and The Citadel led 1-0.
ETSU tied the game in the fourth when Andy Baxter doubled and scored on a basehit by Brandon Cross.
The Citadel regained the lead in the fifth when McPherson reached on an error, stole second, and scored on a Stuart Jordan double.
The Bucs tied the game in the eighth when Kirk Keithley singled with two outs and scored on Baxter's double.
Randy Corn earned the win with 1.1 innings of work with one walk and four strikeouts. Eric Talbert went 7.2 innings as The Citadel's starter and scattered seven hits and did not issue a walk while fanning seven.
Reid Casey, the SoCon strikeout leader, fanned five and walked seven in 7.1 innings. He took the loss as his record fell to 3-8.
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