Bucs Split Doubleheader with High PointApril 5, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman Tyler Thornburg (pictured) and Derek Smith each had home runs in a 6-5 victory in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader.|
CHARLESTON, S.C. – A pair of freshmen hit home runs for the CSU baseball team on Saturday as the rain held off long enough for the Buccaneers to split a doubleheader with High Point. The Panthers took game one, 2-0, but CSU was propelled to a 6-5 victory by a pair of long shots by Derek Smith and Tyler Thornburg in the nightcap.
Box Score (Game One)
Box Score (Game Two)
Junior Andrew White (3-3) was given the loss in the first game for the Bucs, allowing one unearned run on two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Bubba O’Donnell (2-1) came on in relief for High Point (9-19) to get the win, keeping CSU (11-16) hitless over 2.2 innings. Freshman Tom Burkett had two hits to lead CSU in the loss.
Both pitching staffs kept the offenses at bay, with neither squad getting on the board until the Panthers broke the deadlock in the top of the eighth inning. Murray White IV reached on a Buccaneer error and then scored on a double by Billy Alvino to give High Point the 1-0 lead. Three straight singles in the top of the ninth brought Drew Geissinger in from second to add another run to the Panthers’ final advantage.
The scoring started much earlier in the second game as High Point put a run on the board in the top of the first inning. Jeff Cowan led off the game with a single up the middle, advancing to third on a single by Pablo Rosario. Alvino follow with a third consecutive single to score Cowan and give the Panthers an early 1-0 lead.
After being held scoreless in the first game, the CSU bats came to life in their first chance in game two, getting three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first. Junior Mark Perry got it started with a single to right field and moved to second on junior Kory Morian’s ground out. Freshman Steve Antolik then tied the game with a single up the middle that brought Perry around to score.
Smith followed with a two-run drive over the wall in right center for his team-high seventh home run of the season. With those two runs batted in, he increased his squad-best RBI total to 26 on the season.
High Point pulled even in the top of the fifth inning, getting a single from Max Fulginiti that brought Randy Schwartz and Geissinger around to score and make it 3-3. CSU didn’t wait long to regain its advantage, scoring a pair in the bottom half of the inning to restore its two-run lead. Burkett hustled down the first base line for an infield single, giving Thornburg another RBI when his shot cleared the wall in left center to make it 5-3 in favor of the Bucs.
Adding what proved necessary insurance to its lead, CSU increased its advantage to 6-3 with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Perry led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Morian. That put Perry in position to come around for the score when Antolik drove a single into center field, putting the Bucs in front by three runs.
The Panthers were not done yet, however, scoring a pair in the top of the seventh to pull within one, 6-5. Alfie Wheeler led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to third on a single by Rosario. After a ground out allowed Rosario to move to second, Matt Gantner delivered a two-out single up the middle to bring Wheeler and Roario around to score.
Relieving freshman Anthony Markham (4-4), who got the start and the win for CSU on the mound with five strong innings of work, junior Brandon Roberts kept the Panthers from completing the comeback. He pitched three innings of middle relief, striking out five and paving the way for senior closer Payton Tweddale.
As the first few rain drops began to fall, Tweddale entered to pitch in the top of the ninth with the Bucs leading, 6-5. After a fly out, it looked as though the stopper had two away when he got a swinging strikeout, but it proved to be a wild pitch that allowed Chris Norwood to reach first. Alvino then singled to move Norwood over to third and give High Point runners on the corners. But Tweddle earned his program record 18th career save by inducing a game-ending double play to clinch the victory for CSU.
The series will conclude at 1 p.m. on Sunday with a final game at Buccaneer Field.