Bucs explode for 17 hits in home debut; Sweep Umass with 12-8 win

Bucs explode for 17 hits in home debut; Sweep Umass with 12-8 win

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Charleston Southern offense looked right at home at CSU Ballpark.

The Buccaneers piled up a season-high 17 hits and held UMass scoreless over the final five innings to sweep the Minutemen with a 12-8 win on Sunday at CSU Ballpark.

In a wild first few innings, CSU (6-5) found itself tied at 8-8 and deep into its bullpen after four innings. The Bucs would piece together runs down the stretch and four relievers shared the work to shutdown UMass after a high-scoring start.
 
The Bucs set season highs for runs (12) and hits (8) in the win, but CSU head coach Stuart Lake was quicker to praise his bullpen for getting key outs.
"Sunday games can be like this," Lake stated of the 16 combined runs in the first four innings. "The big thing for us was, even though we didn't pitch well early, our bullpen came in and didn't allow a run after the fourth inning. It was good to be at home and see our offense hit the ball hard."
Nate Blanchard was 4-for-6 and scored three times for CSU. Chris Singleton added a 3-for-4 day with three RBI and a walk. He doubled off the top of the wall in left in the second, coming up just shy of his second home run this week

Six Bucs had a multi-hit game with help from Ryan Maksim and Mike Sconzo, the bottom two in the CSU lineup, had a combined four RBI.

Alex Ministeri and Cayce Hubbard denied UMass any late-inning drama. They held the Minutemen without a hit and only surrendered a walk over the final three innings.

Adam Andrew (W, 1-0) worked 1.2 scoreless, but Tyler Pickard came on with two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth to get the key out of the game. He battled back from 3-0 to strikeout Brett Evangelista in a one-run game. 

UMass took a 1-0 lead in the first off of starter Jon Piriz behind a leadoff triple from Evangelista.

CSU answered back in a big way in the first with six hits and a walk to take a 5-1 lead.

The first five Bucs reached off of UMass starter Justin Lasko. RBI singles by Cole German, Chris Singleton, Ryan Maksim, and Mike Sconzo fueled CSU's biggest innings this season. Bryan Dyeadded an RBI double inside the bag at first to get the Bucs' offense rolling.

UMass scored three runs - two unearned - off of Piriz in the second to start the back-and-forth. 

Blanchard tripled and scored in the fifth to give CSU the lead for good at 9-8. The Bucs added an insurance run when he singled and scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.

Mike Hart and Dylan Morris both had three hits for UMass. Reliever Ryan Venditti (L, 0-1) gave up three earned runs in 4.2 innings of work, taking the loss for UMass.

CSU plays twice this midweek. The Bucs host North Carolina Central on Tuesday and USC Upstate on Wednesday. Both games are at 6 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.

-CSU-

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