Buccaneer Baseball falls to Western Carolina, 13-3

Friday, April 08, 2005

CULLOWHEE, N.C. (Apr. 8, 2005) - Western Carolina pitcher Caleb McConnell pitched a complete game, allowing just one earned run, while Steven Strausbaugh extended his hitting streak to 14 games, going 3-for-4, as the Catamounts defeated East Tennessee State, 13-3, Friday night at Childress Field/Hennon Stadium.


McConnell threw his second consecutive complete game, improving to 5-3 on the season. He scattered seven hits to allow three runs (one earned) with one walk and nine strikeouts. Strausbaugh had a double and hit his seventh home run of the season, driving in four tonight to improve his season batting average to .397.


East Tennessee State (16-9, 6-7 Southern Conference) turned a leadoff double by senior second baseman Nick Crowe (Johnson City, Tenn.) into a 1-0 lead. Crowe moved to third on a throwing error and scored on a sacrifice fly by senior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.).


The Catamounts (20-10, 8-5 SoCon) answered with five runs on five hits in the home half of the first. Tim Hallam got things started with a one-out bunt single, followed by Jared Greenwood's single. With two outs, Trey McDaniel extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI double to right-center field. Chris Davis walked to load the bases and Jonathan Greene brought home Greenwood and McDaniel with a single to right. On the play, the ETSU right fielder made an error, allowing Davis to score and putting Greene on third. Nate Hall capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single through the left side of the infield.


Western added two more runs in the bottom of the second. Barrett Shaft had a leadoff home run, his second blast of the season. Hallam followed with a double and, after a ground out, scored on a sacrifice fly by Strausbaugh.


The Bucs took advantage of two hits and an error to score an unearned run in the top of the fourth. Stephen Douglas singled to left and moved up to second on a WCU error in the outfield. With two outs, Blake Church blooped a single to right-center field to score Douglas.


Western answered back with one run in the bottom of the fourth, making the score 8-2. Greenwood had a one-out double and Strausbaugh followed suit with an RBI double to left-center. With that double, Strausbaugh extended his season hitting streak to 14 games. In the sixth, Greenwood drew a one-out walk and Strausbaugh followed with a towering two-run home run over "The Purple Monster" in left field.


After giving up the two-out RBI hit to Church hit in the fourth, McConnell sat down 10 straight until allowing a two-out infield single to sophomore designated hitter Mike Giroud (St. Petersburg, Fla.). McConnell battled back to strike out Matt Traylor to record his seventh K of the night. In the eighth, freshman third baseman Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md.) scored ETSU's first earned run of the inning with a leadoff home run to center field, his second of the season to make the score 8-3 and cap the scoring for the evening.


In addition to Strausbaugh, Western was led offensively by Hall, who was 3-for-4 with three RBI, while Shaft, Hallam and Greenwood each had two hits. For the Bucs, Crowe led the way offensively, getting two of ETSU's seven hits. East Tennessee senior starter Michael Bauer (Kingsport, Tenn.) suffered the loss (1-1), allowing six hits and six runs in one-plus innings worked.


Western Carolina and East Tennessee State will play the second of the three-game set on Saturday with first pitch set for 4 pm.

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