CHARLESTON, S.C. – Starters Evan Raynor and Daniel Johnson both lasted into the eighth inning and picked up wins as Charleston Southern swept an afternoon doubleheader from UMass on Saturday at Joe Riley Park, 3-1 and 7-2.
The Bucs took the opener behind a combined one-hitter from Raynor and Cody Smith, while Johnson allowed one earned run in eight innings in the nightcap. Raynor improved to 3-0 on the season and has started the Bucs with a win in all three weekend series openers this season. The starting pitching continues to be strong and set the Bucs on the weekend.
"We knew it would," CSU head coach Stuart Lake said following the sweep. "UMass is a very well-coached team and it was their first games of the year, so you don't know what you're going to get. Very proud of the way we pitched and we got some timely hits too."
In tight spots, the Bucs were a little tougher and more confident after a near-rally at Georgia. It seemed to help as CSU powered to two wins that were tight in the middle-to-late innings.
"I thought we were (tougher)," Lake said of his team on Saturday. "That's what's so important to go into places like Georgia, and South Carolina next week. You learn you can compete with those guys, see they can compete at any level. I thought we showed a different level of toughness today."
GAME 1 – CSU 3, UMass 1
Evan Raynor (W, 3-0) combined with reliever Cody Smith (S, 1) to fire a one-hitter at UMass to lift Charleston Southern in a 3-1 win to open the series.
Raynor took a shutout into the seventh inning before allowing an unearned run, tying the game at 1-1. The senior struck out eight and retired 10-in-a-row at one point. He surrendered a leadoff double in the second inning to UMass' John Jennings for the Minutemen's only hit.
Smith struck out three in his two innings of work. He walked the leadoff man in the ninth, but a pick off at first base erased UMass' only runner after the Bucs retook the lead.
CSU took a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Bryan Dye in the third.
UMass tied the game in the seventh on a passed ball as Dylan Morris raced home.
The Bucs added an insurance run in the eighth on a Bryan Dye RBI double to right center, sending home Sly Edwards for a 3-1 lead.
Edwards finished 3-for-4 and scored a run, while Dye and Blanchard both had two hits for CSU.
Starter Ryan Moloney (L, 0-1) pitched well in taking the loss for UMass.
GAME 2 – CSU 7, UMass 2
Daniel Johnson (W, 2-1) scattered seven hits in eight innings of work to pick up his second win of the season. He struck out four and gave up two runs in the third inning, one unearned.
CSU's offense gave the Bucs' pitching the support it deserved as the day wore on, scoring the final six runs of the game.
Chris Singleton went 4-for-5 with two RBI, helping CSU score the game's first run and then add to its lead. He singled with the bases loaded to deep center push an insurance run across in the eighth. His RBI single in the first scored German following a triple in his first at-bat of the day to give CSU a 1-0 lead.
The Bucs scored three runs in the eighth. Jacob Childress doubled in his first career at-bat. A Blanchard walk and another RBI single from German helped CSU extend its lead.
Three Bucs had multiple hits, led by a CSU season-high four from Singleton. German was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Edwards finished the day 5-for-7 with two RBI and two doubles.
Chayce Hubbard pitched a perfect ninth in relief for CSU.