CHARLESTON, S.C. – Paced by four RBI's from Ryan Stoudemire, a home run from Max Ryerson and two doubles by Brooks Bryan, the Charleston Southern offense made it four-straight Big South Conference games scoring at least nine runs on their way to a series-opening 10-5 victory over fourth-place Presbyterian Thursday night.
Stoudemire blasted his team-leading 14th home run of the season in a three-run second inning and Ryerson smacked his seventh in the sixth as CSU (21-32, 11-14 Big South) made it four-straight Big South wins after a sweep last weekend at CSU Ballpark.
After falling behind 5-4 to Presbyterian (27-27, 14-11 Big South) in the fifth, Brooks Bryan delivered the game-tying RBI double to right center to score Josh Litchfield from first and knot the game back up at 5-5, setting the stage for Ryerson's go-ahead blast.
Jaret Bennett took a no-decision tossing 5.0 innings surrendering five runs and striking out a pair while the trio of Seth Owens, Eddie Hiott and RJ Petit combined to throw four scoreless and set down six Blue Hose batters via the strikeout. Owens picked up his third win of the season tossing a scoreless sixth before Hiott induced a fly ball in a lefty-lefty matchup in the seventh before Petit slammed the door on a Presbyterian rally tossing the final 2.2 for his fifth save.
Stoudemire's four RBI's and three knocks led the offense while Josh Litchfield turned in a three-hit day himself and scored the game-tying run. Reid Hardwick and Stoudemire both came across the plate twice as the Bucs also collected 12 hits – the fourth-straight Big South contest doing so.
How They Scored
- CSU got on the board early taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first without the benefit of a hit as PC starter Eric Miles walked a man and plunked two batters.
- The Blue Hose would tie it quickly as freshman Ashby Smith sent a ball over the scoreboard to leadoff the second and make it 1-1.
- The Bucs had another big inning in the bottom half, this time pushing across three runs capped by Stoudemire's longball to straight away center field and 4-1 CSU lead.
- Zeros were traded until a four-run rally in the fifth gave the Blue Hose their only lead of the night at 5-4 as Garett Jones scored on a Zacchaeus Rasberry double then a two-run Alex White home run to center field finished the rally.
- The lead was short-lived as freshman catcher Brooks Bryan cranked his second double of the night bringing Litchfield all the way home from first and a 5-5 tie entering the sixth.
- Bryan's RBI double sparked a CSU rally that saw the final six runs of the ballgame for the 10-5 win. Fellow classmate Max Ryerson jumped in on the longball party crushing his seventh of the season to left center handing the Bucs the lead for good at 7-5 in the bottom of the sixth.
- CSU added two in the seventh on Stoudemire's two-run single then capped it with one final tally in the eighth on Litchfield's RBI single to no-man's land in right field.
News and Notes
- RJ Petit collected save number five on the season tossing the final 2.2 innings striking out five Blue Hose batters – including the last two – lowering his ERA to 0.87 in Big South games.
- Seth Owens collected his third win out of the bullpen tossing a scoreless sixth and striking out a man before Eddie Hiott got Nick Giumbarda to fly out in a lefty-on-lefty situation in the seventh.
- Ryan Stoudemire collected another three-hit day and has three such performances over his past four Big South games with four home runs in that span. The junior first baseman is hitting .321 on the season with 14 home runs and 45 RBI's after Thursday's win.
- Josh Litchfield also had a three-hit day, giving the senior outfielder 13 multi-hit games in 2019 to lead the Buccaneer offense.
- CSU has scored at least nine runs and collected 12-plus hits in each of their past four Big South games – all coming as Buccaneer wins and all four coming at CSU Ballpark.
CSU and Presbyterian play game two of the series Friday night at 6 p.m. as the Bucs look for their fourth Big South series win over their last five chances as well as their fifth-straight conference victory.
What They're Saying
"We still felt good, it was only a one-run game. We still had a lot of at-bats in the game and felt good about our chances of answering back. He didn't have his best stuff tonight, but (Jaret Bennett) went out there and battled his tail off to give us five innings and put us in a spot to win the game." – Ryan Stoudemire on the team's confidence level even facing a rally and Bennett's night.
"Things are going well, we're playing well and guys are swinging it, it compounds and when you're playing with confidence good things are going to happen. We're going to keep rolling with what we're doing and see how far it can go. You want to be building for this time of the year and playing your best baseball right now leading into the conference tournament. The guys have been working hard every day and things have been paying off for them." – Coach Ward on the team's confidence level scoring nine-plus runs in four-straight conference games.
"It's a good feeling knowing just how well (RJ Petit) is throwing the ball right now. You have to tip your hat to all these guys – Seth Owens and Eddie Hiott – all three came out of the bullpen and did their jobs really well and that's what we need to open a series. (Jaret) Bennett gave us a good start too, he gave us a chance to win so we could turn the ball over to those guys." – Coach Ward on the pitching staff Thursday night.