Bucs Fall to Radford in Big South OpenerMarch 28, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman Derek Smith hit his fifth home run of the season on Friday.|
RADFORD, Va. – Junior Andrew White gave up four runs, two earned, on nine hits over eight innings for the CSU baseball team on Friday, but it wasn’t enough for the Buccaneers. Radford’s Eric Evans had the upper hand as he spread out six hits over nine innings, striking out seven in a 4-2 win for the Highlanders. Freshman Derek Smith recorded one of the CSU runs with a solo home run, his fifth of the season.
Smith was one of only four Buccaneers to record a hit against Evans on Friday afternoon. Junior Mark Perry and freshman Tom Burkett had a pair each, while Smith added his home run and freshman Taylor Black went 1-for-3 with a single.
Radford (14-9, 1-0 Big South) got on the board first in the bottom half of the game’s opening inning. Tyren Rivers led off with a single up the middle, but White quickly got two outs when he induced a double play ground ball. That limited the damage when the next better, Alex Gregory, hit a solo home run to center field to give the Highlanders a 1-0 lead.
It remained a one-run game until the top of the fourth inning when CSU (9-14, 0-1) pulled even on Smith’s home run. Smith took Evans’ pitch over the wall in right center to improve his team-best RBI total to 21 on the season.
Radford regained its advantage in the bottom half of the inning, capitalizing on a wild pitch to go up, 2-1. Reggie Keen got things started with a single through the left side and advanced to second when Raphael Turner was hit by an errant White pitch. The Bucs were able to get the lead runner, Keen, at third on an attempted sacrifice bunt by Nick Minter, but the Highlanders still had two on with one out.
A passed then ball moved both runners into scoring position with Turner advancing to third. After White recorded one of his four strikeouts on the day to make it two away, a wild pitch allowed Turner to score and gave the Radford back its lead, 2-1.
CSU wasted no time in knotting the score, scoring a run in the top of the fifth to make it 2-2. Freshman Tyler Thornburg led off with a walk, but was retired when junior Jake Cox’s bunt turned into a fielder’s choice as the Highlanders put away the lead runner. Black followed with a single to move Cox over to second, putting him in scoring position for Perry. The Bucs’ leadoff hitter delivered with a game-tying single through the right side that brought home Cox from second.
Radford once again responded quickly, however, taking advantage of a CSU miscue to regain the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Mario Duarte put himself in scoring position with a one-out double to right center. Gregory then singled into left field to move Duarte to third, but it was an error by Bucs that allowed him to come all the way around to score, giving the home team a 3-2 lead.
Ben Toth extended the Highlanders’ lead to two with a one-out solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to put Radford in front 4-2. That provided more than enough cushion as Evans allowed just two base runners over the final four innings, recording five of his strikeouts during that span.
The Bucs will be looking for its first Big South win in a rematch at 1 p.m. on Saturday. These two teams will play the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.Related Item: Box Score