Buccaneers unable to overcome late Air Force home run on Friday night

Buccaneers unable to overcome late Air Force home run on Friday night

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Adam Groesbeck connected on the go-ahead home run in the top of the seventh inning to lead visiting Air Force to the 5-4 win over Charleston Southern on Friday night at the CSU Ballpark.

Jason Miller evened the score for CSU (21-29) with a solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth to put the Bucs back in the contest, but for the second straight night Air Force (27-25) utilized a late home run to take the win.

Charleston Southern and Air Force close out the weekend series tomorrow afternoon as the Buccaneers recognize their 2017 seniors pregame. Senior Day festivities start at 12:30 p.m. at the Ballpark as the Bucs will recognize Nate Blanchard, Brandon Gragilla, and Kyle Dyson. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.

Taylor Cox (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season going 0.2 innings' in relief for starter Nik Constantakos. Constantakos retired his final nine hitters and finished the game allowing five hits and four runs (two earned) while striking eight in his final start of the season. Cody Smith went the final 2.1 innings and finished with four strikeouts to close out the game.

Matt Hargreaves (4-5) went the final eight innings in relief for the Falcons on Friday night in picking up the win. The Bucs loaded the bases in each of the first three innings, but CSU was unable to take advantage against the AFA pitching staff as Hargreaves scattered six hits and one run while striking out five. Starter Ethan Nichols allowed five hits and three runs in one inning of action.

Jason Miller, Aaron Miller, and Kyle Vesnesky all had two hits apiece in the game, while Jason Miller scored a pair of runs to pace the CSU offense. Brandon Gragilla connected on a two-run double in the bottom of the first to lead the team with two RBI.

Air Force took the early lead in the contest as the Falcons took advantage of a CSU error to plate two in the top of the first. Groesbeck reached on an error to leadoff the contest and advanced to third on Tyler Jones' double. Two batters later, Nic Ready drove a double off the fence in left field bringing both runners across the plate.

The Bucs strung together five consecutive hits in the bottom of the frame to take their first lead of the contest. Chris Singleton started the frame with a bunt single down the third base line. Jason Miller and Aaron Miller followed with back-to-back singles to load the bases before Mike Sconzo brought home the first run of the game with a base hit to left field. Gragilla followed with a two-run double to the right center gap to give CSU the 3-2 advantage after the first inning.

Russell Williams swung the advantage back to the Falcons in the top of the third with a two-run home run to give Air Force the 4-3 lead. Williams connected with a drive over the left field fence scoring Tyler Zabojnik with none out to give AFA the one-run lead.

Jason Miller tied the game up with a one-out drive over the left centerfield fence for his second home run of the season. Miller connected on the 0-1 offering from Hargreaves to tie the game up after four complete frames.

Groesbeck swung the advantage back to the Falcons in the top of the seventh with a two-out solo home run over the right field fence off of Cox.

Hargreaves shut down the Bucs' lineup following the Jason Miller home run and retired 10 in a row at one point before allowing Miller to reach on a wild pitch following a strikeout in the bottom of the ninth. He rebounded to get Aaron Miller to roll over a pitch for the final out of the contest.

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