Freshmen Trio Shine in Victory at Winthrop
Jason Smith singled in two runs, Austin Livingston picked up his first collegiate win and Skylar Hunter fanned three batters in the ninth to earn the save, leading The Citadel to a 3-1 victory over Winthrop on Tuesday night in Rock Hill.
The trio of freshmen helped the Bulldogs (8-5) win their third in a row and complete a season sweep over the Eagles (3-9). The Citadel defeated Winthrop 6-4 at Riley Park two weeks ago and have won four in a row over its Upstate rival.
Livingston worked the first 4 2/3 innings in a split staff game, allowing four hits and one unearned run while walking two and striking out five. He left with two on and two out in the fifth and was charged with Winthrop's only run of the game when Tyler Griffin misplayed a fly ball in right.
Ryan Hines then got Cody Altman to ground out to second to keep the Bulldogs in front 3-1. Kevin Connell worked a perfect sixth but ran into trouble in the seventh. Zach Sherrill escaped the two on, one out jam with a strikeout and ground out, and Winthrop never seriously threatened again.
After David Rivera worked a 1-2-3 eighth, Hunter got the first out in the ninth on a fly ball to left and then struck out Max Vogel but the pinch hitter reached on a wild pitch. Unfazed, Hunter proceded to fan Michael Patrick and Jace Whitley to finish off the win and pick up his third save of the year.
Davis stole second and Smith followed by grounding a single into right to plate Orth and Davis and give The Citadel a 2-0 lead. An error and RBI double by Orth in the fourth made it 3-0.
Orth had two hits while starting his third straight game at first base in place of Bo Thompson, who is still resting a sore ankle. Davis' steal was his ninth in as many attempts while Armstrong had a pair of thefts.
The Citadel opens Southern Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against Samford at Riley Park. Game times are 6:00 on Friday, 3:30 on Saturday and 1:00 on Sunday.