CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern responded to last night's loss with a 10-5 win Saturday night fueled by another quality start from junior left-handed pitcher Jaret Bennett and four runs in the sixth and eighth innings to even the weekend series with rival The Citadel.
CSU (5-11) came out with two runs in the first inning for Bennett (1-2), but the Bulldogs (6-8) were able to push across two in the middle innings for a 2-2 tie through five frames. That's when the CSU offense got the big hit they needed.
A bases-loaded error pushed the first run across in the sixth before Max Ryerson punched a ball through the right side, Jack DeLongchamps singled-in a run and Christian Maggio sent a sacrifice fly to deep right field.
Bennett finished the night with just two runs allowed over six frames striking out six Citadel batters and walking a pair.
Citadel cut into the margin with an unearned run in the seventh, but the Bucs put it out of reach with four more in the eighth on Alex Andronica's RBI double, Josh Litchfield's run-scoring double, a passed ball and bases loaded walk from Ryan Stoudemire.
Will Pillsbury took the loss for the Bulldogs tossing 0.1 innings of relief surrendering four runs, three earned on two hits and two walks.
How They Scored
- CSU scratched two runs across in the home half of the first as Josh Litchfield singled on the first pitch, but was caught stealing. Three-straight walks loaded the bases before Jason Miller recorded an RBI groundout and a wild pitch on strike three to Jack DeLongchamps went to the backstop allowing Reid Hardwick to score.
- The Citadel struck back with a run in the third after a one-out single and double down the left field line for a 2-1 score through three frames.
- The Bulldogs then pushed across the tying run in the fifth after a walk, steal and single back up the middle.
- CSU thought they had a one-out two-run home run in the bottom half of the fifth from Christian Maggio, but the ball was ruled foul. Maggio followed with a double, but the runner was cut down at the plate keeping it a 2-2 ballgame.
- The Bucs regained the lead in the sixth on a bases-loaded error by the right fielder allowing Kyle Horton to score and make it a 3-2 lead.
- Freshman Max Ryerson became the team-leader in RBI's with a run-scoring single to right adding to the CSU advantage. That RBI single gave the rookie designated hitter his 11th run driven-in.
- DeLongchamps followed with an RBI bases-loaded walk and Maggio added a sacrifice fly to right field and 6-2 CSU margin.
- Junior utility man Alex Andronica delivered a huge RBI double in the eighth, adding insurance for a 7-3 lead. Senior outfielder Josh Litchfield added an RBI double then a passed ball allowed two runs to score for a three-spot in the eighth and 9-3 cushion.
News and Notes
- Jaret Bennett tossed his second-straight quality start allowing just two runs across six frames while picking up his first win of the season.
- Max Ryerson became the team leader in RBI's with a run-scoring in the sixth for his 11th to begin his college career.
- Ryerson drove in a run as well as Christian Maggio, Justin Miller and Jack DeLongchamps.
- Alex Andronica collected his first hit of the season after a handful of loud outs in 2019, delivering a clutch RBI-double in the home half of the eighth and 7-3 CSU lead.
What They're Saying
"I just tried to just keep us in the game as much as possible, that's always the goal – doesn't matter how many innings or how many runs – just try to keep hanging zeros and give us a chance to win as well as giving our offense a chance to do what they did tonight. I've been feeling well lately, the control has been there. The La Salle start was a combination of tough luck and control. Since then the command has been there and the results have improved." – Jaret Bennett on his second-consecutive quality start for the Bucs.
"I thought we had plenty of chances early, we just couldn't get that one big hit. When it finally happened, we just kept getting big hits and exploded. You could probably hear me down from the bullpen screaming – it was awesome. It's what we're capable of." – Bennett on the team's breakout offensive night.
"I thought he did a great job –he had three pitches working. He commanded both sides of the plate and had a really good night. We had a couple chance offensively early and we didn't cash-in on them and gave them some momentum, but (Bennett) did a good job of putting up a few zeros to quell that." – Head coach Adam Ward on Bennett's start.
"We didn't have a lot to show for it, but I thought we hit a lot of balls hard last night. It was just one of those nights where you were hitting it right at everybody. We didn't panic and stayed with the same type of approach and eventually stuff will start to fall in your favor." – Ward on the offensive approach Saturday night.
"We need another good start, and we've got a guy in Cody Maw who can give us a chance. For the most part we played clean baseball, made a couple mistakes, but we've got to do a better job at taking care of the baseball and when we get the opportunities offensively we need to cash-in." – Ward on the split and Sunday's matchup.
CSU and their rival Bulldogs wrap up the series Sunday afternoon at Joe Riley Park with a 1 p.m. first pitch in the rubber match.