February 23, 2014

Bucs sweep Siena, 5-3

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Relievers Kyle Dyson and Joe Pistacchio combined for four innings of scoreless relief as Charleston Southern rallied to beat Siena and sweep the weekend series from the Saints with a 5-3 win on Sunday afternoon at CSU Ballpark.

CSU improves to 6-1 on the year and a perfect 6-0 at home. Siena falls to 0-6.

The Bucs overcame five errors and a bases loaded jam in the sixth to finish off their second sweep of the season in as many weekends.

Dyson allowed two hits and struck out two in three scoreless innings of work, while Pistacchio struck out two in a perfect ninth to grab his first save of the season. CSU head coach Stuart Lake liked the way his bullpen finished the series.

"I thought it was a good way to finish the weekend," Lake said following the win. "Andrew gave us a good start, not his best start. I think he got a little wrapped up in worrying about some things he couldn't control. Kyle Dyson came in and worked his way through a tough sixth to get us out of the jam, and Joe came in and finished it."

CSU outhit Siena 8-7, but the Saints left 10 runners on base and had plenty of chances. Nate Blanchard and Bobby Ison reached with no outs twice to set the table for the Bucs offense to have a couple of big innings. Lake admitted the Bucs weren't at their best offensively, but executed well enough to give their bullpen the lead it needed.

"I thought our execution was the key," Lake added. "Bobby and Nate did that twice, and Alex (Tomasovich) had two big bunts for us to move them up. (Chase) Shelton's hit to get us going was key too."

Ison and Blanchard combined to score four of CSU's five runs, including its first two, as the Bucs broke through first with two runs in the third.

Shelton lined the first pitch he saw from Bryan Goossens into the right field corner to start the scoring. Ison reached via a four-pitch walk and Blanchard a single to centerfield as the Bucs put two on with no outs.

Siena answered with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Mike Allen and Brett Connors each had an RBI single as the Saints took advantage of a throwing error by the Bucs' Alex Tomasovich to score a pair of unearned runs and tie the game at 2-2.

The Saints grabbed the lead in the fifth with their third unearned run of the game. Justin Esquerra singled home John Rooney to make it 3-2. A bobble by Bucs' shortstop Kevin Hickey kept the inning alive for Siena, one of four errors CSU made behind Tomasovich.

CSU seized control in the fifth, as Ison and Blanchard led off with back-to-back single. Another well-executed bunt from Tomasovich moved the runners up as the Bucs bats got hot. Blanchard scampered home on an RBI ground out from Shelton, his third RBI of the game.

Ison would score on the next pitch on a single to centerfield from Nick Berry. Berry led the Bucs attack with a 3-for-4 day, an RBI, and a run, which he scored when Zack Hagaman belted a double off the fence in right center to score the game's final run.

The Bucs did not strikeout at the plate in the game, while CSU pitchers combined for eight strikeouts.

CSU plays two home games this week at CSU Ballpark. The Bucs host Wofford at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Rhode Island at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.

-CSU-

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