Late-Inning Home Run Lifts BuccaneersMarch 14, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – With two outs and one on in a tie game, CSU freshman Taylor Black provided the game-winning hit with a home run over the wall in right centerfield. It was one of three Buccaneer homers on the day, propelling the home team over the Richmond Spiders, 11-7, on Friday afternoon. Freshman Tyler Thornburg had one of the other CSU home runs, recording a team-best five runs batted in.
Junior third baseman Mark Perry was a consistent force at the top of the Buccaneer lineup, going 4-for-5 in the leadoff spot. Continuing his recent hot streak, freshman Steve Antolik had hit his team-best fourth home run of the season and collected three RBI in the game. Holding the Spiders scoreless over the final 1.2 innings, senior Payton Tweddale recorded the save for CSU (6-9).
Going 1.1 innings in relief, freshman Anthony Markham earned his second win of the season for the Bucs. He gave up one run on four hits and struck out two batters to improve to 2-1 on the year. Junior Andrew White got the start for CSU, giving up six runs over six innings while striking out seven to finish with a no-decision.
The Buccaneers jumped on the Richmond (5-11-1) pitching early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Perry led things off with a single through the left side and advanced all the way to third after a wild pitch and sacrifice bunt by junior Kory Morian. Antolik picked up the first of his three RBI with a single to left field that brought Perry home to score. Back-to-back walks by freshman Derek Smith and redshirt-freshman Nick Chinners loaded the bases for CSU, allowing freshman Tom Burkett to earn the RBI when he drew a walk to force Antolik home. Finally, a fielder’s choice to second base gave Smith enough time to score and gave the Bucs a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the third inning, the Spiders got one run back on a two-out solo home run by Hank Coogan to make it 3-1. CSU restored and extended the advantage in the bottom half of the inning when Thornburg hit a two-run home run to right center that also scored Burkett, who had reached on his second triple of the season. Antolik then made it a six-run game, 7-1, in the bottom of the fourth with a two-run homer to left field after Perry led off the inning with a single.
With less than half the game in the books, Richmond did not go down quietly, scoring five runs in the top of the fifth inning. The Spiders loaded the bases with no outs, giving Andrew Lowry two RBI when he hit a single to right center. Two straight strikeouts by White had him on the verge of escaping the inning relatively unscathed, but Billy Barber made it a one-run game with a three-run home run to deep centerfield that made it 7-6. Evan Stehle tied the game in the top of the seventh with an infield single that scored Lowry from third.
After having led for most of the day, the Buccaneers responded with their backs against the wall. Junior Jake Cox kept the bottom of the seventh alive with a two-out single through the left side, giving Black the chance to step in and knock a two-run dinger over the wall in right center to give the lead, 9-7, back to CSU.
With runners on the corners and one out for the Spiders in the top of the eighth inning, Tweddale entered the game and quenched the rally with a groundball that resulted in two outs to end the Richmond threat. The Bucs then loaded the bases in the bottom half of the inning and Thornburg used the opportunity to pad the home team’s lead with a two-RBI double down the left field line that put CSU in front, 11-7.
A one-out single by the Spiders’ Ryan Metzroth kept hope alive in the top of the ninth inning, but Tweddale struck out one batter and forced a long foul fly out to right field to end the game, earning his third save on the season. He now has 15 saves in his career, adding to his own all-time program record.
This three-game series between CSU and Richmond will continue with a 1 p.m. game on Saturday at Buccaneer Field. It will conclude at 1 p.m. on Sunday when the teams meet at Collins Park.Related Item: Box Score