Ninth-inning rally falls short as Buccaneers fall in series opener to Presbyterian

Ninth-inning rally falls short as Buccaneers fall in series opener to Presbyterian

CHARLESTON, S.C. - A leaping catch at the fence by Presbyterian's Tyler Weyenberg stalled a Charleston Southern rally in the bottom of the ninth and Ryan Hedrick was able to retire the final Buccaneer hitter to close out the 11-10 Blue Hose win over host CSU at the CSU Ballpark on Friday night.

The Bucs (21-24, 9-13) rallied back from an 11-5 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the eighth and CSU nearly completed the comeback as Alex Andronica sent a 1-2 offering to the centerfield fence. However, Weyenberg was able to time his jump perfectly and snag the ball to keep the Bucs off the board. Two batters later, Hedrick was able to get Aaron Miller to roll over a 1-1 pitch and the groundout to short ended the game in favor of the visiting Blue Hose (25-25, 12-7).

Andronica, Miller, and Brandon Gragilla all homered for the Bucs in the contest as the teams combined for five home runs and 33 total hits in the three hour and 22 minute contest. Chris Singleton led CSU's efforts with a 4-for-5 performance from the plate including a pair of doubles, while Gragilla and Andronica had three hits apiece for the Bucs.

Tyler Weekley (3-4) suffered the loss for the Bucs with the redshirt sophomore going 2.1 innings in the start on Friday night. Daniel Johnson, Ryan Stoudemire, Evan Nations, and Corey Ireson all saw time on the mound in relief.

Eric Miles (6-1) picked up the win for the Blue Hose going 3.0 innings in relief and striking out three. Hedrick recorded the final four outs to close out his ninth save of the season.

The Blue Hose built an early 4-0 lead thanks to two-run home runs by Brett Auckland and Connor Slagill in the first and third innings.

CSU rallied back with a pair of solo shots in the bottom of the third as Andronica and Miller connected on drives over the left field fence.

Slagill added to the PC lead with a RBI double in the top of the fifth, but CSU continued to battle back as the Bucs closed the gap to within one in the bottom of the sixth. Cole German connected on a sacrifice fly scoring Singleton, while Nate Blanchard singled in Kyle Vesnesky to cut the lead down to 5-4.

The Blue Hose plated four in the seventh with Jack McLaughlin providing the big hit in the frame with a triple to right field. He came around to score on a CSU throwing error to give PC the 9-4 lead.

Gragilla homered down the right field line in the bottom of the seventh to cut into the Blue Hose lead.

PC plated a pair of important insurance runs in the top of the eighth as T.J. Richardson and A.J. Priaulx connected on back-to-back RBI singles.

The Bucs scored five runs in the bottom of the frame to bring the game back within striking distance. Andronica opened the scoring with a RBI double down the left field line. Singleton capped the frame with a sharp double just inside the third base bag to narrow the gap to 11-10.

Vesnesky opened the ninth with a leadoff single. Two batters later, Andronica brought everyone to their feet with his drive before the PC centerfielder's catch sat the crowd back down. After Blanchard drew a walk to put two on with two out, PC closed out the game to take the series opener.

The Bucs and the Blue Hose continue the weekend series tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is set for noon.

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