Eighth-Inning Rally Gives VMI Sweep Over CSUMay 18, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman Steve Antolik hit a home run again on Sunday, his second in as many days.|
LEXINGTON, Va. Ė Charleston Southern hit three home runs, but it wasnít enough to avoid a sweep by Virginia Military Institute, which used three runs in its last at-bats to claim a 9-7 victory. Freshman Steve Antolik homered for the second straight game for the Buccaneers, moving into a tie for the team lead with 11 on the season. He also had an RBI single, driving in three runs in the loss.
Looking for his seventh save of the season, CSU (18-34, 6-15 Big South) senior closer Payton Tweddale took the loss after giving up three runs in the eighth inning, falling 2-4 on the season. Freshman Sam Roberts earned his first victory in just his third appearance of the season for VMI (28-25, 13-8 Big South), while sophomore Chris Duty recorded his second save by pitching a scoreless ninth.
A solo home run in the bottom of the first inning by junior Mike Roberts gave the Keydets an early lead. Freshman Tom Burkett knotted the game at 1-1 in the top of the second, however, hitting his sixth home run in the last eight games to bring the Buccaneers even with the home team.
Moved into the three-hole in the CSU lineup for this series, redshirt-freshman Nick Chinners hit a one-out double in the top of the third inning. It paid dividends when Antolik stepped into the batterís box and belted a homer over the wall in left field, his second in as many days, putting the Bucs in front 3-1.
Sophomore Tanner Biagini responded with a two-run home run of his own in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game once again. VMI scored another run in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 4-3 lead. Junior A.J. Yoder started things off with a one-out double down the right field line. After a walk to senior Shane Geisslinger, an errant pickoff attempt moved both runners into scoring position, allowing Yoder to score on a ground ball to second base.
Junior Kory Morian led off the top of the fifth inning with a single and Chinners followed with his second double, putting a shot down the left field line. Antolik then recorded his third RBI of the afternoon, singling through the left side to bring Morian home from third. With the game tied at 4-4, freshman Derek Smith put the Bucs in front with a sacrifice fly, giving Chinners time to tag up and score from third.
Extending the visitorsí lead, junior Jake Cox led off the top of the sixth inning with his second home run of the season. His shot down the left field line cleared the wall, putting CSU in front 6-4.
The Bucs didnít hold the lead long, however, thanks to a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth by the Keydets. Yoder started the inning with a triple to right center and Geisslinger brought him home with a single down the right field line, pulling VMI within one. After Sam Roberts, who started the game in the field, moved Geisslinger to second with a sacrifice bunt, he advanced to third on a wild pitch. Mike Roberts then tied the game at 6-6 with another single down the right field line, scoring Geisslinger.
Playing small ball in the top of the eighth inning, the Bucs took a 7-6 lead. Freshman Brantley Meier led off by taking one for the team when earned a free pass to first after getting hit by a pitch. A sacrifice bunt by junior Mark Perry then moved him into scoring position. Morian took advantage of the opportunity with a double down the left field line to bring Meier around to score, putting CSU in front by one.
Tweddale entered in the bottom of the eighth, looking to close out the game for the Bucs, something he has done more than any other player in program history, with a team-record 19 career saves. Geisslinger jumped on him early, however, leading off the inning with a single to center. Tweddale recorded outs against the next two batters, but Biagini kept the inning alive with a single to give the Keydets two baserunners. Sophomore Jordan Ballard followed with the game-winning hit, a double to right center that scored a pair to make it 8-7. Redshirt-sophomore Brian Sandridge added some insurance when he hit a single to score Ballard, extending the home teamís advantage to two, 9-7.
That was more than enough for Duty, who allowed a single and hit a batter in the top of the ninth, but kept the Bucs off the board to record the save.
This series marked the end of the regular season for both teams, with the Big South Conference tournament next on the schedule. The tournament, which is being hosted by Liberty, starts on May 20 in Danville, Va. with a pair of play-in games. Related Item: Box Score