The Citadel didn't steal a regular season title this weekend, but the Bulldogs stole just about everything else in sight.
The newly aggressive Bulldogs stole 17 bases during a weekend sweep of UNC Greensboro, including two in a 3-1 win over the Spartans on Sunday at Riley Park, and have swiped 22 over the last four games, all victories.
Larceny and solid pitching helped the Bulldogs (34-20, 21-6) hang on to first place in Southern Conference baseball heading into next weekend's final league series at Georgia Southern.
"We just felt we had to be more aggressive," coach Fred Jordan said of the Bulldogs' thievery, which included seven steals in Saturday's 5-0 win and eight in Friday's 8-2 victory. "We went into a little bit of a tailspin there for about three or four weeks, and we lost our aggression. But our ballclub bounced back and played very well this weekend."
The Bulldogs have stolen 97 bases in 123 attempts, second in the SoCon.
Freshman pitcher Michael Clevinger worked six innings of one-run ball and reliever Raymond Copenhaver (3-1) did not allow a run over three innings Sunday to back up complete-game efforts from Asher Wojciechowski and Matt Talley in the first two games.
Catcher Grant Richards singled and scored the go-ahead run on an error in the seventh, then drove in a run in the eighth. Brad Felder singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on Kyle Jordan's groundout to tie the game at 1-1 in the sixth.
At 21-6 in the SoCon, the Bulldogs maintained their lead on College of Charleston (22-8), which wrapped up its SoCon slate with two victories at Appalachian State on Sunday, and third-place Georgia Southern (19-8).
If the Bulldogs win two or three games at Georgia Southern next weekend, they clinch the outright regular-season title and top seed in the SoCon Tournament May 26-30 at Riley Park.
If The Citadel wins one game over GSU, it will share the regular-season title with College of Charleston, which would claim the tourney's top seed due to its series victory over the Bulldogs.
And if the Bulldogs are swept by the Eagles, The Citadel would get the No. 3 seed in the tournament, while top-seeded C of C and GSU share the regular season title.
"Georgia Southern is a great club," Jordan said. "We'll just have to go down there and try to out-pitch them. That's what it will come down to."
Reach Jeff Hartsell at firstname.lastname@example.org