Charleston Southern split Saturday's baseball doubleheader with Siena, taking the opener 8-7 and dropping the nightcap 10-5 after a late comeback attempt at the CSU Ballpark.
In game one, CSU produced four runs in the second to get on top, then put up two more in the eighth to hold off a furious ninth inning rally to take the opener 8-7.
Consecutive one-out singles by Alex Tomasovich, Chase Shelton, and Robbie Streettloaded the bases. RBI singles by Drew Woodall and Kevin Hickey, combined with a wild pitch and Bobby Ison's RBI fielder's choice, gave CSU the early 4-0 lead.
Shelton drove home Brian Welch in the third. John Faircloth singled, then moved around on a hit batter and two wild pitches to put up a run in the fifth. Siena closed the gap to 6-4 by the middle of the seventh. In the bottom of the eighth, Hickey's and Ison's singles started the offense, and Faircloth drove in both with a one-out single.
The eighth inning runs that appeared to serve simply as insurance turned out to be the winning margin. Siena's Vincent Citro was hit by pitch, moved up on Andres Ortiz's single, and came home on Mike Fish's single. Larry Balkwill drove in Ortiz and Fish with a hard-hit rope down the left field line. CSU's Austin Weekley came in for the final three outs to get the save, his third of the season.
Faircloth's two-RBI performance led the way offensively for the Bucs. Tomasovich, Shelton, Streett, and Hickey all went two-for-four with a run scored each.
Siena's Balkwill drove in three runs on a two-for-five day. Ortiz went three-for-four with a run scored.
Ryan Gunther picked up his second win of the season with six hits over six innings of work. Matt Gage took the loss for Siena.
In the second game, the Saints jumped on the Bucs early, capitalizing on opportunistic hitting and home team errors to hold an 8-0 advantage before rallies in the bottoms of the seventh and ninth inning reduced the final margin to 10-5.
A four-run Siena outburst in the third would not be answered until the seventh stanza. With bases loaded and one out, Hickey sent a ball to center to score one, and Ison drove in two more after a throwing error. Jaren Sustar, who was 2-for-3, sacrificed to left to score Hickey. Down only 8-4, it appeared the Bucs may rally much as Siena did in the first game, but the visitors produced two runs in the next inning.
The Buccaneers again took advantage of miscues in the ninth, allowing Streett to reach first. Streett took another base on a wild pitch. Singles by Hickey and Ison plated Streett, prompting a pitching change and eventually setting up CSU with bases loaded and down only five. The comeback was not to be, as Siena's Neil Fryer recorded outs against both of the CSU batters he faced.
The teams will play the rubber match Sunday, with the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.