Alex Tomasovich was 3-for-3 and tied the Charleston Southern career record with his 50th double as the Buccaneers broke open a one-run game late for a 12-7 win over The Citadel on Tuesday night at CSU Ballpark.
The Bucs improved to 26-21 on the year, while The Citadel fell to 19-29.
Charleston Southern scored four times in the bottom of the eighth to put the game out of reach, but it was the Bucs pitching that changed the game. CSU's bullpen shut out The Citadel over the final five innings after the Bulldogs took a 7-6 lead with a five-run fourth inning. Freshmen relievers Evan Nations and Will Hartsell both worked two scoreless innings to slow a game that was high scoring early, giving the Bucs their ninth win in 10 games.
"It's fun, this is when you want to get hot," said Buccaneer head coach Stuart Lake. "We beat a good Citadel team, a program I respect. I'm excited that we had some guys step up that we needed to and the bullpen calmed it down on the mound."
Tomasovich and Bobby Ison each had three hits to power the Bucs' 14-hit attack. Tomasovich reached base in all five at-bats and tied Terry Shirley's (1984-87) 27-year old career doubles record with a shot into the gap in the first inning. He added a two-run single in the sixth to give CSU the lead for good at 8-7.
Ison kept the Bucs' offense going late and finished 3-for-5, scoring twice. He singled and scored in the sixth and doubled off the top of the wall in right during CSU's four-run eighth. The junior's double started CSU's decisive eighth inning when the Bucs ballooned their one-run lead. Chase Shelton's bases-clearing double down the right-field line later in the inning broke the game open. Nick Berry added one of his two singles as the Bucs built a five-run lead heading to the ninth.
Nations (2-1) struck out two and Hartsell one to slow down The Citadel's bats over the final few innings. Austin Weekley came on to strike out two in working a scoreless ninth.
CSU took a 2-0 lead with a run in each of its first two at-bats. Tomasovich lined his record-setting double into left-center in the first to get the Bucs going. Sam Remick raced home on an RBI groundout by Chase Shelton to make it 1-0. The Bucs added a run in the second on an RBI single from Ison, taking advantage of a Bulldog error to push the lead to 2-0.
The Citadel knotted things up at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the third. Hughston Armstrong's RBI groundout plated the Bulldogs' first run, and Bo Thompson followed with an RBI single to get The Citadel's offense on track.
The teams scored nine runs in back-to-back at bats to set up what looked like a shootout. CSU's Zack Hagaman had a two-run single and Cody Austin tripled into the right-field corner to push the Bucs to a 6-2 lead with four runs in the third.
The Bulldogs answered back with five runs in the top of the fourth to take a 7-6 lead. Drew DeKerlegand had an two-run single and Armstrong added an RBI double to highlight the Bulldogs' five-hit inning.
Hagaman finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, while Berry was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Shelton finished with a game-high four RBIs.
Catcher Ryan Kilgallen was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Bulldogs. Reliever David Rivera (1-1) took the loss in giving up the Bucs' go-ahead runs in the sixth.
Charleston Southern wraps up its home schedule hosting Winthrop this weekend at CSU Ballpark. The series opener is Friday at 6 p.m.
The Bulldogs play a non-conference series later this week against UNC Wilmington, hosting the Seahawks on Thursday at 7 p.m. and Friday at 5 p.m. The teams break for The Citadel's graduation ceremonies on Saturday before finishing the series in Wilmington at p.m. Sunday.