Sears, Bulldogs take down Virginia Tech

The Citadel baseball team kicked off the season with a 4-2 win over Virginia Tech on Friday night at Riley Park.

JP Sears got the start on the bump for the Bulldogs and dominated for five innings, striking out 12 of the 19 batters he faced while not allowing a run on his way to the victory.

The 12 strikeouts are a new career high for the sophomore, breaking his previous mark of 10 set last year against Mercer, which was the last time a Bulldogs pitcher recorded 10 strikeouts in a game.

Zach Lavery allowed no runs and one hit over the final two innings to earn the save.

As a whole, The Citadel pitching staff punched out 17 Hokies and allowed five hits.

First baseman Drew Ellis was 2 for 3 at the plate with three RBIs, including a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to stretch the Bulldogs’ lead to three.

Senior catcher Stephen Windham also went 2 for 3, with one run scored. Mike Deese and Austin Mapes recorded one hit apiece.

Friday’s win was Citadel head coach Fred Jordan’s 799th career victory.

His first chance for win No. 800 will come Saturday when the Bulldogs face the Hokies again at Riley Park. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m.

The series concludes on Sunday with a 1 p.m. start.