DURHAM, N.C. – Cole Murphy's RBI single broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning and four Buccaneers combined to retired the final 11 batters of the game, propelling Charleston Southern to a 3-2 win over North Carolina Central on Wednesday night at Durham Athletic Park.
CSU improves to 12-11 overall and NCCU falls to 11-12.
Murphy's single drove home Brandon Burris with the game's winning run and CSU's bullpen combined with starter Dylan Lee (W, 1-1) to shutout the Eagles over the final three innings. CSU head coach Stuart Lake liked his team's complete effort and their start to a four-game road trip this weekend.
"Today was a tough day to play," Lake said. "A long trip up after class, a short warm-up and BP. Dylan (Lee) really picked us up and pitched well. He was dominant at times on the mound. We had other guys step up. Cole Murphy gave us a big hit when we needed it."
Lee had five strikeouts and no walks in seven innings of work. He gave up six hits in the longest outing of his career to-date. Reliever Chayce Hubbard worked a perfect eighth and Alex Ministeri and Denis Buckley each had a strikeout in the ninth.
"Following a great start, all three guys who came in from the bullpen were excellent," Lake added. "Chayce rolled through the eighth, 1-2-3. We brought in Ministeri to get out the guy who hit the home run, and he did. Then Buckley got two quick outs to end game and to keep it from getting interesting. We're starting to get character and personality in the bullpen with still a lot of baseball left."
Lee and NCCU starter Cameron Scalzo rolled through the opening six innings in a game that lasted just over two hours.
CSU took a 1-0 lead in the fourth as Burris laid down a bunt single and scored on the first of two doubles by Nate Blanchard.
NCCU's Carlos Ortiz hit as two-run home run in the sixth off of Lee to give the Eagles a brief lead, 2-1.
CSU's Robbie Streett tied the game in the Bucs' ensuing at-bat. He followed a Brian Dye double with an RBI double off the wall in right to knot the game, 2-2, setting up the game winner in the eighth.
Burris, again, set the table, reaching with a leadoff single and scoring on Murphy's game-winner off of Kyle Shields (L, 1-2).
Burris, Blanchard, and Streett all had two hits for the Buccaneers.
NCCU's James Day was 2-for-3. He was the only Eagle with multiple hits.
CSU travels to Washington, Pa. this weekend to face West Virginia. The three-game series will be played at CONSOL Energy Park, home of the Washington Wild Things. Friday's first pitch is at noon.