February 22, 2014

Ison's walk off lifts Buccaneers to Saturday sweep of Siena

 

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern's Bobby Ison hit a three run walk-off home run in the 10th inning of game one to cap a Bucs come-from-behind win, 8-5, against visiting Siena on Saturday afternoon at CSU Ballpark. The Bucs finished the afternoon sweep with a shutout in the second game, 3-0.

The two teams play the series finale at 1 p.m. tomorrow at CSU Ballpark.

The Bucs rallied from a slow start in the opener to hold Siena scoreless over the final 16 innings of the day to pick up the two wins and improve to 5-1. Siena falls to 0-5. CSU head coach Stuart Lake liked the dominant effort down the stretch he saw from his pitching staff.

"It felt like our pitchers were in control after a little bit of a rough start," Lake said. "Of course, you're scared there in both games because both were so close. I thought both of our catchers and all of our pitchers did a fantastic job. We threw a lot of strikes."

Ison went 4-for-8 on the day and had the biggest swing of the season to this point for CSU, sending the Bucs off a winner in game one with his first home run of the season.

"Bobby was huge for us," Lake said. "You get to that point in the 10th (in the opener) where you're hoping he hits the ball hard, but you're not thinking home run. He hit the ball hard all day and had two or three balls he hit right on the screws that were outs. He's fun when gets going, he really makes the rest of our guys relax."

Game 1 – Charleston Southern 8, Siena 5 (10 inn.)

Ison was 3-for-5 with the walk-off home run, three RBI and two runs scored to cap the Buccaneers' rally in an 8-5 win. The junior drove home pinch hitter Andrew Widell and Brian Welch, who both reached on walks, to cap the Bucs' rally.

CSU fell behind 5-0 early in the game, but the Bucs rallied with runs in each of their final five at-bats. The Buccaneers piled up four hits in the sixth, but couldn't get the break-through swing to cut the lead in half. An RBI single from Kevin Hickey cut the lead to 5-1.

CSU added two more runs in the seventh as Alex Tomasovich stroked a two-run single to centerfield to score Ison and Robbie Streett to make it 5-3. Ison and Streett each had one of the Bucs four hits in the inning.

Hickey cut the lead to one in the eighth with a leadoff double, later scoring on a wild pitch to cut the lead to 5-4.

Designated hitter Zack Hagaman forced extra innings with a double in the ninth, later scoring on an RBI single from Tomasovich as the Bucs were down to their final out.

Freshman Tyler Weekley gave the Bucs a chance to rally with six scoreless innings, shutting out the Saints from the fourth inning until CSU forced extra innings. Austin Weekley (WP, 1-0) would come on to work the 10th, giving up two infield singles, but getting out of the jam with an infield popup and a strikeout.

Siena struck first in the top of the first as leadoff man Vincent Citro singled, stole second, and scored on an RBI single from Brian Fay to give the Saints a quick 1-0 lead.

The Saints built a 5-0 lead with four runs in the third inning off of Bucs' starter Tory Schroff. A single and hit batsman, followed by a fielding error by Schroff on a sacrifice bunt set up the Saints' big inning. Second baseman Mike Allen had an RBI groundout and Dan Swain added an RBI single as the Saints scored three unearned runs.

Siena starter Matt Gage held the Bucs to one run in six innings of work, striking out five. He held the Bucs in check before CSU attacked the Saints bullpen and seized momentum heading into game two.

"From the scouting reports and everything, we knew that their starter (in Game 1) was a really good guy," Lake said of Gage. "To keep coming back, and then to get the big hit from Alex (Tomasovich)in the ninth, obviously winning there in extra innings was big. It helps in a doubleheader to have some momentum going in the second game."

Tomasovich joined Ison with three hits and three RBIs in the win. Hickey and Hagaman each had two hits for the Bucs.

Citro was 2-for-5 and scored twice to lead Siena. The Bucs outhit the Saints, 14-10.

Game 2 – Charleston Southern 3, Siena 0

CSU starter Levi Mauldin (WP, 1-0) worked six innings, combining with freshman Andrew Locklear and closer Austin Weekley for the Bucs' second shutout in eight days as CSU took the nightcap, 3-0.

Mauldin struck out two and scattered four hits in the longest start of his career. Locklear and Weekley combined to strike out three, allowing a pair of singles over the final three innings as the Bucs' silenced the Saints' bats.

CSU had just eight hits in the win, taking a 2-0 lead in the sixth as Tomasovich and Hagaman both walked and came around to score on a pair of Saints' wild pitches. Hickey had an RBI groundout as CSU took advantage of the Siena miscues.

The Bucs added a run in the as Hagaman doubled and Austin Hicks, who pinch ran for Hagaman, scampered home on an RBI single from Andrew Widell to cap the scoring.

Widell was 3-for-3 to lead the Bucs offense.

Weekley picked up his third save of the season, surrendering just a single in the ninth.

-CSU-

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