Bucs split with IU

By Ivan Sanders

   East Tennessee State's baseball team split a doubleheader with the visiting University of Indiana Hoosiers on Friday afternoon, providing a bit of an early-season boost for the Buccaneers.
   The Bucs, playing their contest at Hunter Wright Park in Kingsport, opened up by taking the first game 10-7 while Indiana rebounded to take game two by a score of 12-4.
   ETSU and Indiana both scored one run in the first inning of game one before the Bucs proceeded to score eight unanswered runs over the next five innings.
   The Hoosiers tried to come back late in the contest by plating four runs in the seventh inning, including home run number three on the season by IU's Eric Blakely which brought in Kennard Jones and Mark Minor.
   The Bucs held to take the game 10-7. Reid Casey of Kingsport picked up the win on the mound to improve to 2-1 on the season, with both wins coming at home.
   Marietta, GA native Tim Turner went three for five at the dish, including a double and a triple, while scoring three runs for ETSU. Buc right fielder Kirk Keithley of Peoria, IL also had a big day at the plate, going four for five.
   Donnie Sharp of Oak Ridge notched his second save. IU's Jacob Carey came up on the short end of the stick to pick up the loss.
   The second game was a completely different story as ETSU would get on the board first with a run in the second inning.
   Ryan Hyder of Erwin stole second and Keithley stole home. Matt Traylor of Knoxville drove in Hyder with a scorched single to right field, making the score 2-0.
   The Bucs picked up another run in the third, while IU had a big top of the fifth inning, scoring four runs on five hits to surge ahead 5-3. The Bucs could only muster one in their portion of the fifth to draw within one 5-4.
   The sixth inning sealed the contest for Indiana as IU's Josh Romero scored on an error. Jones scored on a single by Mark Calkins. ETSU handed the Hoosiers a run on a walked batter with the bases juiced.
   To put the exclamation point to the game, the Hoosiers Joe Kemp blasted a shot deep over the right center field wall for a grand slam. IU was now up 12-4 and the Bucs offense couldn't respond to the large difference.
   Jarrod Hyder of Elizabethton picked up his first loss of the season, while Indiana's Nick Vitiellis notched his second win against no defeats.
   After Friday's games, the Bucs ledger stands at 4-4 while Indiana improves to 3-3. The two teams met again Saturday in Kingsport.