Bulldogs steal series from Bucs with doubleheader sweepApril 24, 2010
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Jesse Cadenhead belted his first-career home run in the first contest and Andrew White pitched a career-high 10 innings in Game Two, but the Charleston Southern baseball team found more late-inning trouble as Gardner-Webb University took both games of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at CSU Ballpark.
The Bulldogs (19-20, 7-8 Big South Conference) scored a run in the ninth to win the first game 9-8, and CSU (17-26, 6-11 Big South) allowed the road team to steal home in the final frame of a 5-4 10-inning thriller in the series finale.
GAME ONE (box score)
The Buccaneers held a commanding 6-1 lead after the fourth inning in the opening game of the day, but GWU mounted a comeback and was able to snatch the victory away from the home team.
After two scoreless innings in the early going, CSU exploded for four in the third. Cadenhead led off the frame with a blast over the left-center wall on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. Brantley Meier followed Cadenhead’s first-career home run with a double, and he scored when Jon Matthews hit a single through the left side of the infield.
Matthews maneuvered his way to third base and Tom Burkett drew a walk to put two aboard with just one out. After Burkett stole second, each runner moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. Burkett would later score on a single from Brandon McKinney.
Daniel Merck led off the fourth with a triple, and he was driven home by Jake Watts to cut into the CSU lead.
The Buccaneers responded with two runs of their own in the home half of the fourth, which began with a leadoff double from Cadenhead. Matthews and Burkett each walked to load the bases, and Cadenhead touched home following a sacrifice fly from Nick Chinners. Matthews would later score on another wild pitch.
Gardner-Webb began its comeback with two in the fifth. Zeke Blanton drew a one-out walk, and Josh Drewery sent a no-doubter over the right-field wall to pull the score to 6-3.
A three-run seventh from the Bulldogs tied the game. Adam McFarland doubled to lead off the frame, and Blanton reached on a dropped third strike. McFarland was thrown out at home later in the inning, but Blanton scored on a wild pitch.
Merck stepped up and hit an RBI double to plate Drewery, and a sacrifice fly from Aaron Miller brought home Benji Jackson.
Charleston Southern responded with two of its own following the seventh-inning stretch. McKinney was hit by a pitch to start the frame and scored on a double from Cadenhead.
Cadenhead also scored on a sac fly from Meier, and CSU held an 8-6 lead with two to play.
The lead was short lived, however, as GWU tied the game in the eighth. McFarland drove home Ty Boyles and later scored on a double from Drewery to pull the Bulldogs even at 8-8.
CSU would not answer in the bottom of the eighth, and Gardner-Webb made the Bucs pay with a run in ninth.
The team wearing the home gold jerseys made a valiant attempt to tie the game back up, but they were unable to respond.
Matt Still and McKinney hit back-to-back doubles before an out was recorded, but the bats behind them could not get them home as GWU stole Game One.
Tyler Thornburg started for CSU and allowed six runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out eight batters and walked just three in the no decision. Cadenhead was the starting catcher, but pitched the eighth inning. He allowed two runs on three hits, and Stew Brase (2-4) picked up the loss after allowing the game-winning run on two hits in the ninth.
Cadenhead had a career day at the plate as he went 3-for-5 and led CSU with two runs batted in and three runs scored. All marks were career highs, and he also hit his first-career double.
Matthews and McKinney recorded two hits each, and Matthews scored twice on wild pitches. Burkett was 1-for-2 and drew three walks.
Three different Bulldogs had two hits, and Jackson led the way with two runs batted in. He and Blanton each scored twice.
Conner Scarborough lasted just three innings after giving up five runs on six hits. Emilio Pagan threw three innings of relief and allowed two runs and no hits. Jeff Howell (2-2) earned the win after giving up just one unearned run on two hits in two innings. Adam Izokovic picked up his fifth save of the season after not allowing a run on two hits in the ninth.
GAME TWO (box score)
Gardner-Webb wasted no time getting on the board in the rubber match of the series, as they plated two before CSU had a chance to bat.
Merck led off the game with a single and Miller was hit by a pitch to put two ducks on the pond. Kurt Fulginiti singled to score Merck, and Boyles singled up the middle to bring home Miller.
Charleston Southern wasted no time answering, as the home squad quickly tied the game back up in the home half of the first.
Matthews and Burkett recorded back-to-back singles, and both Bucs scored on a mistake by Gardner-Webb. Chinners hit a dribbler to the pitcher, who picked up the ball and attempted to record the force out at third base. The throw was wide and the ball was sent rolling along the fence up the line. Matthews and Burkett took advantage as they both scored on the error.
The Bucs doubled their score in the third, led by Matthews. He walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, and was driven home by a single from Burkett. Burkett would later score on a single from Chinners.
Charleston Southern would not score again after the third inning, and GWU took advantage as Brad Collins hit a two-run homer in the sixth to tie the game at 4-4.
GWU went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth and CSU came to bat with a chance for a walkoff hit.
Patrick Dolan struck out but reached base on a wild pitch, and Chinners followed that up with a single to put two on base with no outs. The good fortune for CSU would quickly take a turn for the worse as Derek Smith struck out and Still hit into an inning-ending double play.
Merck drew a leadoff walk in the top of the 10th and landed on third after a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Following a pitch to Boyles, both CSU pitcher White and catcher Drew Woodall had their backs turned to Merck, who took the opportunity to steal home and give GWU the 5-4 lead.
A 1-2-3 bottom of the 10th slammed the door on any comeback thoughts by Charleston Southern, and the Bulldogs stole the game and the series from the home team.
Chinners went 3-for-4 to lead CSU, and Dolan, Burkett and Meier all had two hits. Matthews and Burkett split the four Buccaneer runs, and Burkett and Chinners picked up the two RBI.
White (1-4) had a phenomenal performance as he pitched all 10 innings and gave up five runs on just five hits. He struck out five and walked just two in arguably his greatest performance in his five years donning the blue and gold.
Merck was the only Bulldog to record multiple hits, and he also scored twice. Collins had two runs batted in to lead GWU.
Brock Wilson started on the mound for Gardner-Webb and was touched up for four runs (one earned) on six hits. Izokovic (5-2) came back on in relief after picking up the save in the first game, and he was lights out for the final six innings. He did not allow a run and only gave up six hits, and he also struck out eight and walked just two.
The Buccaneers will take a week off for final exams before returning home for a three-game set with Liberty University. The first game will be May 7 and will begin at 2 p.m.
Gardner-Webb will return to Forest City, N.C. for a 6 p.m. April 28 meeting with Wofford.