April 16, 2012

Bulldogs Travel to Winthrop for Lone Midweek Clash



THE CITADEL (16-21) at WINTHROP (12-25)

Location: Rock Hill, S.C.
Stadium: The Winthrop Ballpark
Capacity: 1,800
Series: Winthrop leads 21-20     
Trend: CIT W2
TV: None
Internet: Live Audio and Video at WinthropEagles.com
Live Stats: WinthropEagles.com

The Citadel will face Big South member Winthrop in the lone midweek battle this week in Rock Hill. The Bulldogs are coming off a three-game sweep of UNC Greensboro and face the College of Charleston this weekend in Southern Conference action. Earlier this season, The Citadel defeated Winthrop 9-2 on March 14 at Riley Park. Justin Mackert and Bo Thompson each recorded career-highs with four hits in the victory.

Johnathan Stokes' RBI single to left with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth capped of a wild six-run final frame and gave The Citadel a 8-7 victory and a series sweep over visiting UNC Greensboro Sunday afternoon at Riley Park. Trailing 7-2 after eight complete and with two outs in the ninth, the Bulldogs used four hits, two errors and three walks to complete the improbable comeback. Ryne Hardwick started the rally with a double down the left-field line and Nick Orvin put runners at the corners with an infield single. Mason Davis lined a double down the left-field line to plate Hardwick and put a pair of runners in scoring position with the Bulldogs down 7-3. Brennen James replaced Hathcock on the mound for UNCG and promptly walked Justin Mackert to load the bases. Joe Jackson reached on an error at first, allowing Orvin to score from third with the first of five unearned runs in the frame. Back-to-back bases-loaded walks by Grant Richards and Drew DeKerlegand pushed across two more runs to cut the deficit to 7-6. Orth came to the plate for the second time in the frame and reached on a fielding error that allowed Jackson to score with the tying run. With the outfield pulled in, Stokes roped a 1-1 pitch to left that allowed pinch-runner Hayden Hendry to score from third as the Citadel bench raced out to mob the freshman shortstop.

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. 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.

Austin Pritcher tossed a complete-game four-hitter to give head coach Fred Jordan his 700th career victory as The Citadel blanked UNC Greensboro 3-0 Friday evening to open their three-game Southern Conference series at Riley Park. Pritcher was magnificent on the mound, striking out nine Spartans and scattering four hits, walking none. The complete-game shutout was the first for The Citadel since Matt Talley did it against UNCG on May 15, 2010 and was Pritcher's first complete-game effort.

Winthrop enters the week with a 12-25 record after losing two out of three last weekend in conference play to Liberty. Justin Hopper leads the Winthrop offense with a .291 average at the plate, while Matt Lobacz has 26 RBI on the season and Patrick Gamblin has hit a team-leading four home runs. Tyler Klitsch tops the Eagle pitching staff with a 3.14 ERA, and Matt Pierpont and Eric Ruth have three wins each on the season. Pierpont also leads in innings pitched (66.2) and strikeouts (60) and complete games (2).

With last Friday's 3-0 win over UNC Greensboro, head coach Fred Jordan becomes the 36th active member of the 700-win club of NCAA Division I head coaches. In his 21st season, Jordan is 702-529 all-time at the helm of the Citadel program. Jordan had 686 victories entering this, his 21st, season of Citadel baseball.

For more information on Bulldog baseball, follow us on Twitter at @CitadelBaseball or visit www.CitadelSports.com.


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