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Bucs' ninth inning drama takes doubleheader from Davidson

By From staff reports
On April 9, 2001

The ETSU baseball team used two bottom-of-the-ninth inning rallies to sweep a dramatic Southern Conference doublheader against Davidson at Cardinal Park on Saturday.
In the first game senior Andy Baxter delivered a game-winning single in a 9-8 win and in the second game junior Brandon Cross was plunked with the bases loaded to seal a 3-2 victory.
The Buccaneer offense was geared by four player who had identical hitting stats in both games.
Senior Ryan McKinney went 2-for-5, Baxter went 2-for-5, senior Nathan Copeland went 2-for-4 and junior Brandon Cross went 2-for-3 in both games of the doubleheader.
Copeland launched a pair of two-run homers in the first game to key the charge.
After a scoreless first in the series opener, Davidson grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Cassidy Lundin singled and moved to second on a D.J. Dailey sacrifice.
The next batter, Stephen Aldrich, hit a rocket into left field that scored Lundin.
ETSU responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning when Scott Rose's double scored Cross and Chad Boruff.
Davidson's James Marino hit a two-run shot over the right field wall in the third to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead.
Copeland answered with a two-run homer of his own that put ETSU ahead 4-3 after three innings.
In his next at bat, Copeland belted another two-run shot to right to give the Bucs a 6-3 lead in the fifth.
ETSU added two more in the sixth on RBI singles from Rose and McKinney.
Davidson's Jack Purcell hit a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to close the lead to 8-6. Davidson mounted a two-out rally in the ninth to knot the game at 8-8.
Tim Frend's walk, followed by singles from James Marino and Matt Berry to start the rally.
Billy Ryan followed with a clutch two-run single to center before Buc reliever Bryan Crouse notched the third out.
Baxter won the game with a single in the bottom of the ninth that scored McKinney.
McKinney led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a Davidson error.
Baxter followed with his third game-winning hit of the season.
The Wildcats also took a 1-0 lead in the second game, when Berry singled home Ryan Stroker in the first.
The Bucs tied the game with a run in the second. Nathan Copeland led off the frame with a double and scored on a Rose single.
The game remained tied 1-1 until Davidson's Dylan Deal smacked a two-out, solo home run to left field in the eighth.
ETSU started strong in its half of the eighth when Baxter laced a shot off the rightfield wall.
The ball caromed back quickly and the first baseman was held to a single.
After a wild pitch moved Baxter into scoring position, Copeland drew a walk off Wildcat reliever Ryan Stroker. Cross sacrificed the runners to second and third but Davidson's Tim Frend struck out Rose.
Hampered by a wrist injury, sophomore Boruff was brought in to pinch hit and drew a walk to load the bases.
Baxter scored the tying run on a wild pitch.
In the ninth, with one out and runners on first and second, senior Baxter entered the batter's box for a chance to win the game...again. Baxter flew out to left field and senior Nathan Copeland singled to load the bases.
Then junior Brandon Cross was hit on the hip which forced in the game-winning run.
The Bucs return to action against UNC Asheville Thursday at 7 p.m.

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