Burkett Blasts a Pair of Home Runs in 15-8 VictoryMay 10, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman Tom Burkett had a pair of home runs and six RBI in Saturday's 15-8 win.|
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Freshman Tom Burkett helped the CSU baseball team’s offense post its second straight double-digit effort, hitting a pair of home runs in a 15-8 win over UNC Asheville on Saturday. After hitting a three-run homer on Friday, Burkett now has three dingers and nine runs batted in through two games against the Bulldogs.
Junior Brandon Roberts earned his second win in as many appearances for CSU (18-29, 6-11 Big South) pitching four innings in relief. He allowed four runs on five hits and one walk while striking out two to improve his record to 2-3 on the season. Freshman Anthony Markham made his seventh start of the season for the Bucs, surrendering the first four Bulldog runs on six hits and two walks in the no decision.
Making the start for Asheville (21-30, 4-13), senior Michael Bogaert gave up eight runs, seven earned, on five hits and four walks while striking out seven.
Burkett broke a scoreless tie in top of the second, hitting the first of his two home runs. Redshirt-freshman Nick Chinners drew a one-out walk, coming home on Burkett’s fifth homer of the season.
The streaking freshman jumpstarted another scoring inning for CSU in the top of the fourth, taking one for the team when he was hit by a pitch with two outs. Junior Jake Cox increased the Bucs’ lead to three with a double to right center that brought the speedy Burkett all the way around to score. A fielding error by the Bulldogs on freshman Keith Hustedt’s ground ball then allowed Cox to score all the way from second, making it 4-0 in favor of the visitors.
Asheville fought back to tie the game, however, scoring four runs over the fifth and sixth innings. After freshman Danny Baatz drew a one-out walk in the fifth, fellow freshman Beau Zinman ripped a double down the left field line to give the Bulldogs two runners in scoring position. Freshman Chris Freeman stepped in and delivered a single through the ride side, bringing Baatz around to score, but Hustedt kept the CSU lead at three with a precise throw from right field to get Zinman at home.
Senior Kevin Mattison pulled the home team within two when his shot cleared the wall in center field for a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Junior Kevin Weidenbacher followed with a single to right center and then advanced to third on sophomore Justin Schumer’s double down the left field line. With a pair of ducks on the pond, senior Elliott Arrington tied the game when his single brought both Weidenbacher and Schumer in to score, making it a 4-4 ball game.
Doing all the damage with two outs, CSU pulled away with six runs in the top of the seventh inning. Junior Kory Morian kept the inning alive with a two-out walk and moved to second on freshman Tyler Thornburg’s infield single. Coming in as a pinch-hitter, junior Michael Obuchowski gave the Bucs bases loaded by drawing a walk. Black earned an RBI the hard way when he was hit by a pitch, forcing Morian home from third to give the Bucs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Chinners made it 7-4 when his single up the middle brought Obuchowski and Thornburg around to score. With runners on the corners, Burkett capped the six-run rally with a three-run homer to center field that gave CSU a 10-4 advantage.
Five more runs in the top of the ninth padded the Bucs’ lead and put the game out of reach. Back-to-back singles by Obuchowski and Black were followed by a walk to Chinners, loading the bases for CSU once again. Burkett recorded his sixth RBI of the game with a single through the left side that brought freshman Brantley Meier, who entered as a pinch runner for Obuchowski, in from third. With the bases still full of Buccaneers, Cox brought Black home with a single to left field. Extending the visitors’ lead to 13-4, Hustedt hit a third consecutive single, this one down the left field line, to bring Chinners in and keep the bases loaded. Junior Mark Perry forced another run home by drawing a walk and Cox capped the scoring when he hustled home on a ground ball double play, making it a 15-4 lead for the Bucs.
Rallying in the bottom of the ninth, Asheville put a scare into CSU. Zinman led off the inning with a homer to center field, cutting the margin to 10 runs. After a pair of outs were recorded, Mattison singled up the middle to keep the inning alive and freshman Mike Vaughn was hit by a pitch to give the Bulldogs two runners on. Schumer made it 15-8 with a three-run blast over the wall in left field, but Roberts kept his composure and induced a ground ball out to end the game.
CSU and Asheville will conclude their series at 1 p.m. on Sunday, when the Bucs will be looking to earn their first Big South sweep of the season.Related Item: Box Score