Ninth-Inning Rally Falls Short in 7-4 Loss to The CitadelApril 8, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman Taylor Black hit his third home run of the season in the Bucs' 7-4 loss on Tuesday.|
CHARLESTON, S.C. – With runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the ninth, a fortuitous bounce helped The Citadel defeat the CSU baseball team 7-4 on Tuesday. Buccaneer junior Mark Perry hit a line drive that Bulldogs’ third baseman Matt Arnold appeared to snag for out number two. Instead the ball bounced out of his glove and The Citadel turned a game-ending double play. CSU freshman Taylor Black hit his third home run of the season in the loss.
Matt Talley went seven innings for The Citadel (19-13), scattering eight hits while walking one and striking out two, to record his first win of the season. Earning the first start of his collegiate career, freshman Stew Brase gave the Bucs three and two-thirds innings, allowing four runs on four hits and three walks while striking out one.
Scoreless through the first two innings, the Bulldogs ended the deadlock with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. Chris Swauger started the rally with a one-out double to right center and Bryan Altman gave the visiting team two men on by drawing a walk. With a single up the middle, Sonny Meade put The Citadel out in front as Swauger came around to score and Altman moved to third. That put him in position to tag up and come home on a sacrifice fly by Richard Jones, putting the Bulldogs in front 2-0.
Three more run in the top of the fourth gave the visitors a five-run advantage. Matt Arnold led off with a walk and advanced to second on Trey Thomas’ sacrifice bunt. Driving a ball deep into the hole at short, Kyle Jordan earned an infield single before an errant throw allowed him to advance to second while Arnold moved to third. After Brase got Brad Felder to fly out, CSU (12-18) head coach Jason Murray brought in left-handed pitcher T.J. Green to face off with the lefty Swauger.
Swauger earned a walk to load the bases for Altman, who delivered a single through the left side that brought Jordan and Arnold around to score. With Swauger now on second after Altman’s hit, Meade’s single up the middle gave him time to round third and come home, giving the visitors a 5-0 lead.
The Buccaneers got two runs back in the bottom half of the inning with three consecutive hits. Redshirt-freshman Nick Chinners, who had a team-high three hits on the afternoon, led off the inning with a single to left field and advanced to third on freshman Tom Burkett’s double down the left field line. That put them both in scoring position when freshman Tyler Thornburg poked a shot into center field that cleared the outfielders head and brought both Chinners and Burkett home to make it 5-2 on the stand-up double.
Using three straight hits to begin the top of the fifth inning, the Bulldogs pushed the margin back to four. Arnold singled to right center before advancing to third on Thomas’ single to left field, giving the visitors runners on the corners. Jordan then delivered another single to left field to bring Arnold in, putting The Citadel in front, 6-2.
A one-out solo home run over the wall in right field by Jones pushed the Bulldogs’ advantage to four runs in the top of the sixth. Black got the run back two innings later, however, clearing the fence in left center for his third home run of the season, cutting it to 7-3 in favor of The Citadel.
That’s where the score remained heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Matt Reifsnider came in to pitch for the Bulldogs, looking to shut the door on the home team. After the leadoff man flied out, Thornburg hit his second double of the game, this one down the left field line to put himself in scoring position. Redshirt-freshman Mike Beattie kept the rally going, singling to the shortstop to give CSU runners on the corners with Thornburg advancing to third. Black brought the Bucs one run closer, singling through the left side to pull the home team within three runs.
But Arnold’s near catch and heads-up double play ended the comeback and secured a 7-4 victory for The Citadel. Having claimed a 5-3 victory on a diving catch that ended the game between these two teams earlier this season, the Bulldogs earned the sweep of the season series.
CSU is off until Friday when Big South Conference action resumes. Coastal Carolina will be at Buccaneer Field for a three-game series starting at 2 p.m. The series will conclude with a doubleheader slated for 11 a.m. on Saturday.Related Item: Box Score