Buccaneers fall easy prey to UNC-Asheville

By Wes Holtsclaw

   JOHNSON CITY -- The East Tennessee State Buccaneer baseball squad entered Sunday's game with UNC-Asheville a bit optimistic after two close losses on the road Saturday.
   However, the Bulldogs (22-23) were not about to let the Bucs take advantage of their home field, using a solid burst of offense to down ETSU (14-30) 15-1 at Cardinal Park.
   The Bucs were down 3-1 until the fifth inning, when Asheville started scoring heavily. An 8-run eighth inning did the most damage to East Tennessee State, and Buc coach Tony Skole wasn't too happy about it.
   "I just think we hurt ourselves early not throwing strikes," said Skole. "(ETSU's) Steven Callicutt (2-6) threw seven walks, and then with three on base they got a big hit on a 3-2 count -- and were probably expecting the fastball."
   "It got us behind and hurt Steven. They capitalized when we couldn't make routine plays."
   Asheville got started in the third inning when Callicutt walked Scott Stotlar, Robert Rudder and Steve Burnich. It set up Jake McConiga, who doubled in all three runs, giving the 'Dogs a 3-0 lead.
   ETSU got going in the third inning when Andy Howdeshell singled, setting up a Blake Church RBI single, cutting in at 3-1.
   Both teams remained scoreless until the fifth inning, when Aaron Rembert smacked in his second double of the game. A force out on Bill Carley brought the run across for UNC.
   The squad kept rolling in the sixth inning with a walk to Rudder and an errored shot from McConaga, who took two bases. It set up two straight RBI plays from Steve Sherman and Rembert.
   Nick Jaska scored in the seventh inning for Asheville after a single and an error. It set up a wild eighth inning that nearly cleared Cardinal Park.
   Sherman led off with a single, followed by a Rembert triple. Bill Carley followed with an RBI single and scored when Drew Sandri stepped it up with a two-run homer.
   Two errors and a walk loaded the bases back up for the Bulldogs before Burnich singled in Jasksa and a Carley double brought in Stotlar and Rudder.
   The score was 15-1 at that point and various substitutions and defense kept it that way through another inning.
   "They got it going in the eighth inning," Skole said. "It just wasn't our night. I've got to tip my hat to Asheville. We struggled offensively and their kid (Steven Cook) threw a heck of a game. Hopefully, we'll rebound for Tennessee Tech and our remaining conference games."
   Steven Cook (6-4) took the victory for Asheville, giving up eight hits, only walking two and tossing eight strikeouts.
   Rembert led Asheville with a four of four night with two doubles, a single and a triple. McConiga had a pair of doubles for the Bulldogs, who also had solid hitting from Carley.
   Church led ETSU with a three of three outing. Howdeshell had two hits for the Bucs, who travel to Tech on Tuesday.