ETSU Bucs sweep Chippewas 13-3

By Wes Holtsclaw

   JOHNSON CITY -- For the second straight weekend, another visiting team arrived at Cardinal Park to have a series stolen by a ruthless East Tennessee State baseball squad.
   With solid pitching from senior Tim Turner and 14 hits to their credit, the Buccaneers finished off the Central Michigan Chippewa club in their second win of a three game stretch, taking a 13-3 decision Sunday afternoon.
   "Central Michigan has a quality program and ballclub," said ETSU baseball skipper Tony Skole. "It was a big game for us. We put it to them the first game and they put it to us the second game. It was important for our guys to come out early and get a quick lead, and try to shut them down. That's what we did. It was a good weekend for us swinging the bats."
   The Bucs swept Xavier the week before.
   Andy Howdeshell and Caleb Moore had three hits apiece for the unit during Sunday's matinee performance. Moore drove in two ribbies with a double and solo homer, while Howdeshell and Blake Church brought three across the plate.
   Former Science Hill standout Shane Byrne contributed two ribbies off a hit.
   As for Turner, the major league prospect earned his second win of the season after allowing only one hit through four of his seven innings, producing five strikeouts and walking only one.
   "You can't say enough about him," said Skole. "During his last three outings, he's been pretty dominant. That's what we've been waiting for."
   "He's a senior and he's worked really hard and gotten himself in great condition," he said. "If we can get that kind of pitching from him, we'll win most of the time."
   ETSU scored two runs in the first inning off RBI singles from Howdeshell and Church, and three runs in the second inning courtesy of a two-run rip from Byrne and an error which brought Matt Traylor across the plate.
   Central Michigan got their first run in the fourth inning when J.T. Jones reached first on an error and advanced around the bases. A sacrificed liner from Jim Geldhof made it 5-1.
   The Bucs returned the favor with another pair of RBI singles from Howdeshell and Church.
   Neither team mustered any offense until the seventh inning, when Ryan Peel drove two in for Central Michigan.
   The Bucs battled back with a big five-run stanza in which Church, Moore, Richie Billings and Howdeshell garnered ribbies off hits and a walk.
   The Bucs got their final run off Moore's solo shot over the left-center wall to make it 13-3.
   "They're a good team," said Howdeshell afterwards. "Central Michigan is tough and to win at home is great."
   Added Moore: "It was a real good win for us, and it's a great momentum builder going into a conference weekend. We got back to .500 and if we can take one from Kentucky going into Davidson, we can start this thing off right."
   The Bucs (6-6) next face Kentucky on Wednesday before a three game road stretch at Davidson College.
   "We're .500 and we've played a really tough schedule," added the Bucs coach. "I thought we could've won a few more games on our southern trip (at Georgia and South Florida), but we played well.
   "So far, so good. We've got to continue to get better and improve. If we do that, I think we'll have a chance for a pretty good year."
   Josh Kite and Caleb Glafenhein each saw action from the Bucs bullpen. Ty Dunham picked up his first loss of the year for the Chippewas after giving up nine hits and seven runs early.