CHARLESTON, S.C. – Grant Richards' two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth brought home Joe Jackson with the go-ahead run as The Citadel rallied back for a 5-4 victory over UNC Greensboro Saturday afternoon at Riley Park. The victory clinches the weekend series against the Spartans and improves the Bulldogs to 15-21 overall, 6-8 in the Southern Conference.
Jackson reached on a bunt single to first to lead off the eighth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bo Thompson. A groundout by Drew DeKerlegand advanced Jackson to third and Richards sharply hit a 0-1 pitch to third. Trevor Edwards made an acrobatic stop at third, but Richards beat out the throw by a half-step to give the Bulldogs the 5-4 lead.
Four different Citadel batters collected four hits apiece and James Reeves improved to 5-3 on the season, earning the win in relief. The southpaw allowed no runs on three hits in 1.2 innings with one strikeout. Ryan Hines came in and got the final out in the ninth for his third save. Citadel starter Kevin Connell went 5.2 innings, scattering five hits while allowing three runs, one earned. Connell walked four and struck out three.
Lloyd Enzor led UNCG (18-15, 4-10) with four of the Spartans nine hits and added two RBI. Lee Gilliam suffered the loss, falling to 2-2 on the season. Gilliam allowed one run on four hits in four innings with three strikeouts and one walk. Spartan starter Corey Taylor was tagged for four runs on six hits in four frames with two strikeouts.
UNCG took a 3-0 lead by scoring single runs in the second, third, and fifth innings off Citadel starter Kevin Connell. With one out in the second, Kris Richards hit and infield single and stole second. One out later, Richards advanced to third on a balk by Connell and scored went TJ Spina reached on a fielding error by shortstop Johnathan Stokes for a 1-0 lead.
The Spartans plated a second run in the third on a RBI single to left by Lloyd Enzor and extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth. With two away, Trevor Edwards doubled down the left-field line and scored when Stokes' throw to first on Enzor's single sailed past Joe Jackson.
The Bulldogs rallied for four runs in the bottom of the fifth, collecting five straight singles to lead off the frame. Drew DeKerlegand lined a hard single to short and attempted sacrifice bunts by Grant Richards and Stokes turned into bunt singles when both Bulldogs reached base safely to load the bases for Hughston Armstrong. The sophomore right-fielder drilled a RBI single up the middle, cutting the deficit to 3-1 and leaving the bases full. Nick Orvin followed with a RBI single through the left side and a RBI groundout by Mason Davis knotted the score at 3-3. One out later, Jackson lined a RBI single to left to score Armstrong and give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.
UNCG knotted the score at 4-4 in the top of seventh. Zach Leach drew a four-pitch walk from Citadel reliever Ross White to lead off the frame and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundout. Enzor lined a 1-2 pitch from White up the middle to bring home the tying run, giving him three hits on the afternoon.
The series wraps up with Sunday's first pitch at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Sports Radio 1450 AM with the "Voice of the Bulldogs" Danny Reed handling the play-by-play. The broadcast can also be heard online at CharlestonSportsRadio.com.
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