Thunder retaliates against Due West

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   The Southern Collegiate Baseball League was in full swing at Milligan on Saturday, as the traveling team from Due West, South Carolina, became Thunder struck.
   After surrendering two losses in its double-header on Friday, the Tennessee Thunder responded by winning consecutive games on Saturday, defeating the Indians in 5-1 and 4-1 finals.
   "it was a much better day than yesterday. We're coming off a week and a half layoff, so we've been a little rusty where we haven't played," said Tennessee Thunder manager Glenn Davis. "This is proably the best team we've put together. They're real good ball players and have great attitudes and a lot of talent."
   The victiories keep Tennesse at the top of the Southern Collegiate Baseball League with a record of 18-7 on the year.
   Tennessee jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first contest, when hits from Matt Traylor and C.J. Lee brought home Aaron Porter and Dustin Price.
   Due West scored a run in the third, but it was David Long coming back with a big shot for the Thunder during the fourth, as a solo home run to left field, and a hit from Brian Lovett to score Danny Holloway made it 4-1.
   "We had some great pitching and some big hits at the right time, but the hitters get tired after a while, so it was the pitching that carried us today," said David Long (Wofford). "I just joined this team a couple of weeks ago, so it's good to get a couple of base hits and get back into the groove."
   The Thunder added another run in the bottom of the sixth, with Lovett knocking in Holloway once again.
   Danny McCreedy got the win for Tennessee at the mound, as he gave up five hits with the one run scoring being unearned.
   Tennessee started off its second match-up with Due West the same way it did in the first game of the double-header, as two runs came across in the first frame.
   A hit to left field by Traylor drove in Lovett and Dustin Price, after the Thunder had held off the Indians' scoring opportunity in the top of the first.
   "I had a good day today, and I'm just glad I could help my ball team win," Traylor (ETSU). "We lost two last night, so it feels good to come back and take two away from them.
   "Hopefully we got all the bad swings and plays out yesterday, so we looked a lot more sharp today."
   The Thunder added a run in the fourth frame when Holloway hit a fielder's choice, which brought home Tyler Betchler.
   A triple down the left-field line from Lee set up Tennessee's last run, which scored when Long smacked a hit to right field.
   Tennesee got the win with Matt Farina on the mound. Farina pitched all seven innings, and no run was allowed until the final frame off of two hits.
   "We had a real good day with our pitching. Matt did a good job in the second game here, and in the first game McCreedy threw a great game, too," said Davis. "We had two good games and hit the ball. The players made the plays, so that made the difference."
   The Indians' only score of the game came from a double by Robbie Knapp to deep left field, which brought home Dan Flaherty.
   "It's part of baseball, but I'm still happy. We won two yesterday and lost two today, and they're a good team," said Due West manager Pedro Baez. "My team didn't play so good today, and they're still in first place, but somedays you have a good start and sometimes you don't."