Bucs split with VMI, clinch Big South berth

Charleston Southern scored the first seven runs of the day to beat VMI, 11-2, in the opener and clinch a berth in this week's Big South Championship.

VMI grabbed a 4-3 win with an unearned run in the ninth inning of game two as the teams split a Big South doubleheader on Saturday at Gray-Minor Stadium.

CSU's surge to open the day removed any potential drama from the nightcap as far as the Bucs' postseason life was concerned. The Bucs started the day with hopes of a South Division title, but needed a sweep and a Longwood win. A Winthrop win early over Longwood dashed those CSU hopes. Bucs' head coach Stuart Lake thought his team was at their best with their season on the line.

"We were all nervous to start the day," Lake said. "VMI was playing so hard to keep their season going too. We knew what was on the line and for Andrew Tomasovich to give that sort of performance and the offense to score early and often, I was very proud of our response."

Tomasovich (7-2) worked six innings and held VMI to four hits and an earned run while the Buc offense piled up hits and runs. Six Bucs had multi-hits games and the top six of the CSU lineup combined to go 14-for-23. Chase Shelton and Nick Berry each had three hits and combined for six RBIs.

The Bucs finish the regular season at 30-24 overall, tying a school-record with their 30th win against an all-Division I schedule. The total matches the 1996 squad's mark of 30-24-1 and is two wins shy of the program record of 32 wins.

The Bucs lost three one-run games to close out the regular season, but Lake feels like the momentum his team created over the last month and a half - as well as some much needed rest in Saturday's second game - has his team ready for a postseason run.

"I want to win them all just like everybody, but I wanted to get some guys some rest," Lake added. "We've given ourselves a chance, going in (to the Big South Championship) as a No. 7 seed like softball. "Now we have a chance to play our way into a regional, which is all we could ask for when we were 2-11 in conference play."

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