Hunter sets SoCon saves record in Citadel win over CSU

Four Citadel pitchers limited Charleston Southern to two only hits, and Skylar Hunter worked out of a jam in the ninth to post his Southern Conference-record 38th career save in a 3-2 victory over the Buccaneers in Tuesday night at Riley Park.

The Bulldogs (18-20) earned their 11th straight win at home over their crosstown rivals when Hunter got a pair of groundouts with two on and one out in the ninth to break a tie with Elon’s Thomas Girdwood (2008-11) for the most saves in SoCon history. It was Hunter’s 10th save of the year and first in exactly a month.

Freshman Thomas Byelick allowed one hit and two unearned runs in five innings to earn his first collegiate victory. Zach Lavery was perfect in his two innings in relief, and Austin Mason did not allow a hit in the eighth to set the stage for Hunter’s historic outing.

Dylan Lee scattered six hits and all three Citadel runs over seven innings in taking the loss for CSU (19-19). Lee struck out 11 and did not walk a batter.

After spotting the Bucs a run on a walk and error in the top of the first, the Bulldogs got singles from Jason Smith, Johnathan Stokes and Stephen Windham in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. Two errors and a sacrifice fly by Brian Dye tied the game for CSU in the fourth although the visitors still had yet to record a hit.

Connor Walsh was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the fourth and eventually scored on a single by Barrett Charpia for what proved to be the game-winning run. The combination of Byelick, Lavery and Mason blanked the Bucs from the fifth through eighth, and Hunter survived a walk and single in the ninth.

The Citadel hosts North Florida at 6 p.m. Wednesday and VMI in a three-game SoCon series beginning on Friday at 4 p.m.

CSU hosts Furman on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.

College of Charleston plated four runs in the ninth inning, erasing a 6-3 deficit, to down Georgia Southern, 7-6, Tuesday night at J.I. Clements Stadium.

Charleston (28-9) was held to three runs on seven hits through the first eight innings, but triggered the big inning in the eleventh hour, eventually plating the tying and go-ahead runs on an RBI double by Nick Pappas, the Cougars’ fifth hit of the inning.

Pappas was one of three Cougars with both multiple hits and multiple RBIs in the game, joining Ryan Brown and Carl Wise. The Cougars finished with 12 hits by eight different batters, as every hitter in the lineup picked up a hit or scored a run.

Carter Love (4-0) became the pitcher of record and earned the win on 2.2 innings of work, before handing the ball over to Taylor Clarke, who earned his first save with three strikeouts in the bottom of the ninth.

Starter Hayden McCutcheon was impressive in his first start of the season, holding GSU to two runs on seven hits over 5.0 innings, while striking out five without issuing a walk.

“Our offense is predicated on getting the big inning, and that came together in the top of the ninth tonight,” said head coach Monte Lee. “We pieced together some hits to chip away, and then Pappas gets a pitch that was away from him and he drives it into left-center. The big thing for us was staying patient and finding our big inning, and it just happened to be the ninth inning.

“Hayden McCutcheon gave us everything we could have asked for in his first start of the season. He did his job, and our bullpen did well to secure the win. It wasn’t always pretty; it wasn’t our best game, but we found a way to piece together some quality at bats and win the game.”

GSU claimed the game’s first run on a one-out solo home run by Kody Adams in the third inning. Adams finished the day 3-for-5 with three RBIs for the Eagles.

The Cougars put a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings, but were kept off the board until the fifth. Rowland doubled with one out, took third on a wild pitch, and scored when Tommy Richter beat out an RBI infield single to tie the game.

The Eagles got back out front with an opportunistic four-run sixth inning which was aided by a Cougar fielding error and bolstered by three GSU hits. The Eagles loaded the bases twice in the inning, and cashed in both times with a pair of two-RBI singles back up the middle, mounting a 5-1 lead.

Charleston promptly cut the lead in half in the next half inning, with back-to-back walks to Bradley Jones and Erven Roper, before Brown drove a ball over the head of the right fielder to score both runs and cut the deficit to 5-3.

The Eagles took one of the runs back in the bottom of the seventh after a two-out double by Ryan Cleveland for a 6-3 lead.

Roper led off the Cougar ninth with a single through the right side, followed by Brown’s second double of the game which brought the tying run into the batter’s box. With two outs and runners on second and third, Wise singled to score both runners, and Blake Butler followed with a single to put the go-ahead run on base. The comeback effort came to fruition with Pappas’s two-out, two-RBI double, which came on an 0-1 pitch and tailed away from the center fielder into the gap in left-center.

Clarke came out of the bullpen in the ninth, and after a leadoff single, closed the game on three consecutive strikeouts.

The Cougars face a quick turnaround before playing host to No. 25 Coastal Carolina on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. at Patriots Point.

Georgia 7, Clemson 0

Georgia scored four two-out runs in the first inning and cruised to a 7-0 victory over Clemson on Tuesday night at Foley Field.

The Bulldogs, who won both games of the home-and-home season series, improved to 21-20. The Tigers, who saw their five-game winning streak end, fell to 22-19.

The first two Bulldogs were retired in the first inning, then Stephen Wrenn singled and Daniel Nichols hit a run-scoring double. After a costly Tiger error, Skyler Weber and Brandon Stephens hit run-scoring singles to score three more runs. Georgia added a run in the fifth inning and two runs in the eighth inning.

Jared Walsh (4-1) earned the win in a scheduled short start. The left-hander allowed one hit, no runs and no walks with one strikeout in two innings pitched. Tiger starter Brody Koerner (4-5) suffered the loss as he gave up five hits, four runs (one earned) and one walk with two strikeouts in two innings pitched.

Clemson travels to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech in a three-game series starting Friday at 7 p.m.

Furman right-handers Matthew Quarles and Elliott Warford combined to limit South Carolina to one run on four hits as the Paladins defeated the Gamecocks, 2-1, Tuesday night at Fluor Field.

The Gamecocks are now 25-17, with Furman 19-20 on the year.

Quarles (4-1) allowed just one run on two hits in seven innings with a walk and seven strikeouts to earn the win. Warford pitched two scoreless with three strikeouts to tally his fourth save of the year. Gamecock starting pitcher Reed Scott (1-2), who suffered the loss, allowed two runs on five hits in 4.1 innings with a walk and two strikeouts. Gamecock left-hander Josh Reagan pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief with six strikeouts.

The Gamecocks broke ahead 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning. Gene Cone unloaded on the first pitch he saw for a triple to right field and scored on DC Arendas’ sacrifice fly to left field.

The Paladins tied it in the bottom of the fourth. Carter Grote was hit by a pitch to open the frame and Landon Kay singled with one out. Grote scored on Chris Ohmstede’s RBI bloop double down the right-field line. Furman took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth on a solo homer by Cameron Whitehead, his fourth of the year.

The Gamecocks threatened in the ninth inning as Arendas led off with a single to left and reached second base on a fielding error by Furman outfielder Carter Grote. Warford dug deep, though, as he struck out Max Schrock, Kyle Martin and Elliott Caldwell to close the game out for the Paladins.