Buccaneers Fall to Radford in Opening Round to End 2008 SeasonMay 20, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman Tyler Thornburg accounted for the Bucs' lone run on Tuesday, hitting a solo home run. |
DANVILLE, Va. – Charleston Southern’s season ended thanks to a dominant pitching performance by Radford’s Eric Evans on Tuesday. The sixth-seeded Highlanders defeated the seventh-seeded Buccaneers 6-1 in the elimination round of the Big South Conference tournament, riding the arm of Evans to victory. CSU freshman Tyler Thornburg recorded one of only two extra-base hits against Radford’s ace, hitting a solo home run.
Evans was Radford’s top pitcher all season, and he showed why on Tuesday. He scattered eight hits over eight and a third innings, striking out five Buccaneers in the first game of the tournament. The win means the Highlanders advance to the double-elimination portion of the bracket while the loss concludes the 2008 season for the Bucs.
Thornburg accounted for his team’s lone run, hitting a solo home run in the top of the third inning as the lone blemish on Evans’ outing. Pitching the first seven and a third innings, junior Andrew White took the lost for CSU (18-35, 6-16 Big South). He allowed nine hits and walked seven batters with four strikeouts in the Bucs’ season finale.
A single to right field by Radford (23-30, 7-14) sophomore Reggie Keen brought junior Will Naylor home from third in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Highlanders the early 1-0 lead. That’s where the score remained until the top of the third, when Thornburg’s fifth home run of the year evened the score.
Junior Alex Gregory, Radford’s most dangerous hitter during the season, regained the lead for the Highlanders with his 13th home run of the year. His shot down the right field line put his team in front 2-1, which was all that Evans needed. A throwing error in the bottom of the fourth extended Radford’s lead when redshirt-junior Nick Minter hustled home from third on an errant pickoff attempt to make it 3-1.
The Highlanders doubled their lead in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a pair of unearned runs with two outs to make it a 5-1 ball game. Gregory kept the inning alive with a single through the right side and Keen reached on a fielding error to give Radford a pair of baserunners. Minter followed with a single to left field, bringing Gregory around to score. After a walk to senior Nachion Moore loaded the bases full of Highlanders, Keen came home on a single by senior Jonathan Spears to extend the lead to four.
Radford added another insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning, taking a five-run lead. Redshirt-sophomore Tyren Rivers started the rally with a one-out single through the left side and Gregory drew a walk to give the Highlanders two men on. Keen then put his team in front 6-1 with a single up the middle that brought Rivers around to score.
CSU ends the season with an 18-35 overall record and a 7-16 mark in the Big South. Radford’s opponent in the next round depends on the results of the second elimination round game between No. 5 seed High Point and No. 8 seed UNC Asheville. The lowest remaining seed will take on Coastal Carolina, while the higher seed between Tuesday’s two winners will face Liberty.Related Item: Box Score