ETSU defeats Furman in 15-14 slugfest
Shane Byrne scored four runs and stole two bases Saturday against Furman
Shane Byrne scored four runs and stole two bases Saturday against Furman

Saturday, March 12, 2005

GREENVILLE, S.C. (Mar. 12, 2005) - The East Tennessee State baseball team moved to 11-1 as they edged Furman, 15-14, Saturday afternoon from Furman Stadium in Greenville, S.C. The Bucs won their second-straight game in their first Southern Conference series of the season while the Paladins fell to 6-8, 2-3 in conference play.

            ETSU took the early lead with two runs in the top of the first. Senior second baseman Nick Crowe (Johnson City, Tenn.) led off the game with a home run for the second day in a row. Junior right fielder Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) followed with a single, stole second and would later score on an error.

            Furman scored one run in the first on a RBI single by Matthew Betsill, then scored five runs in the bottom of the second. Nick Wajda hit a two-run homer to left field, Betsill drove home another run with a fielder's choice, Case Cassedy hit an RBI single and Joe Daysh hit a double down the right field line to bring in a run.

            The Bucs scored a single run in the top of the fourth, but Furman answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Sophomore left fielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and came home on a sacrifice fly by junior centerfielder Matt Traylor (Knoxville, Tenn.). Daysh drove in his second run of the day for Furman in the bottom of the frame, scoring A.J. Davidiuk with a fielder's choice.

            In the next three innings, the Buccaneer offense erupted, outscoring Furman 12-5 to take a lead they would not relinquish. The Bucs scored three runs in the fifth, three more in the sixth and six runs in the seventh.

            In the fifth, ETSU tied the game as Douglas drove in two runs with a two-out RBI single while junior first baseman Blake Church (Roswell, Ga.) scored on an error on the play. ETSU also scored their runs in the sixth with two outs as senior catcher Caleb Moore (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked with the bases loaded to force in a run and Church hit a two-RBI single.

            Furman cut the Bucs' lead to one in the bottom of the sixth as pinch-hitter Sam McLain laced an RBI single to right field.

            Junior third baseman Greg Roberts (Douglas, Ga.) drove in ETSU's first run of the seventh with an RBI single to left while junior shortstop Chuck Hargis (Powell, Tenn.) followed with a run-scoring double down the left field line. Crowe then drove in a run with a single to left, Moore hit a sacrifice fly, Church added an RBI ground out and Douglas hit an RBI single to right-center.

            With the Bucs up 15-8, Furman rallied with four runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth, but that was as close as the Paladins would get.

            In the seventh, Terry scored on a balk, Betsill hit an RBI single and Cassedy hit a two-run single down the left field line.

            Furman's final two runs came as Andrew Greene crossed the plate on an error and Cassedy hit an RBI single. Moore then came in to pitch for the Bucs, stranding two runners in the eighth, and closing out the game in the ninth.

            ETSU freshman lefty Joey McCown (Alcoa, Tenn.) pitched one-third of an inning in the sixth to earn his first collegiate win (1-0). Moore earned his fifth save of the season, pitching the final 1.1 innings and allowing one hit. The save gives Moore 12 in his four seasons at ETSU, breaking the school record.

            Furman's Ben Hunter (3-1) was charged with the loss, allowing eight runs (five earned) on six hits in 5.1 innings of work. Hunter also walked three and struck out seven on the afternoon.

            Crowe, Douglas and Hargis led the Bucs at the plate with two hits while Byrne paced the team with four runs scored. Church and Douglas had three RBIs in the win.

              Betsill had a game-high four hits for Furman while Greene scored four runs and Cassedy had four RBIs.

            The Bucs and Paladins conclude their three-game SoCon series Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. from Furman Stadium in Greenville, S.C.

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