March 31, 2009
Johnson City, Tenn. - ETSU left fielder Troy Mendez hit two home runs, including a fifth-inning grand slam, to lead the Buccaneers to a 9-3 victory over Tennessee on Tuesday night at Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.
Center fielder Kentrail Davis broke out of a 1-for-12 skid over the weekend with a 3-for-4 performance including a home run and a triple for Tennessee (11-16).
The Bucs (13-11) have now won five of the last seven meetings between the two teams, including three straight.
Left-hander Will Locante (1-1) surrendered one run on one hit through two innings. The freshman struck out a season-high four batters and did not issue a walk.
Bucs starter Chas Byrne (3-1) went 6 2/3 innings, limiting the Vol offense to three runs (one earned) on four hits while walking four and striking out seven.
ETSU took a 1-0 lead in the first when Mendez hit a solo home run over the wall down the left-field line.
The Bucs added a run in the second on an RBI triple off the bat of center fielder Matthew Scruggs. Designated hitter Derek Trent doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Davis tied the game in the top of the fifth at 2-2 with his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot, over the wall in left-center field.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth, ETSU third baseman Bo Reeder hit a solo home run deep to right field to give the Bucs a 3-2 lead they would not surrender. The homer was Reeder's eighth of the year.
ETSU broke the game open, 8-2, with a five-run sixth inning. The frame was highlighted by a grand slam by Mendez. Second baseman Ben Allen crossed the plate for the first run of the inning on a bases loaded walk.
UT added a run in the top of the seventh on an RBI triple off the bat of Davis, made the score 8-3.
ETSU regained its six run lead, 9-3, with a single tally in the bottom of the seventh.
Danny Wiltz pitched three innings in his first career start for Tennessee. The senior allowed two runs on six hits while striking out two and walking one. Ty'Relle Harris, Ryne Simpson and Steven Gruver each pitched an inning out of the bullpen for UT.
Tennessee returns to action Wednesday when it faces Charleston Southern at 6:30 p.m. at Robert M. Lindsay Field at Lindsey Nelson Stadium.