The Citadel recorded its biggest scoring inning in nine years when 10 men crossed the plate in the top of the first, and the Bulldogs went on to an 18-9 victory over Wofford to take two of three in the Southern Conference series.
The Bulldogs rebounded from a 5-4 loss on Friday to score 27 runs in the final two contests of the series and improve to 14-7 overall and 4-2 in the SoCon with their ninth win in the past 11 games. The Terriers dropped to 8-13 and 1-5 in the league.
With the wins on Friday and Saturday, The Citadel moved to a season-high seven games over .500, the most the Bulldogs have been above the break even mark since finishing the 2010 season with a record of 43-22. The Citadel also avoided just its second series loss to Wofford in 22 seasons under head coach Fred Jordan and is 42-16 against the Terriers and 18-7 in Spartanburg over that span.
Freshman right hander Austin Mason (2-1) earned the first SoCon victory of his young career by working into the sixth and allowing nine hits and six runs with three walks and three strikeouts. He gave up two infield hits and a run in the third, was tagged for a three-run homer by Luke Feisal in the fourth and left after allowing two walks and an RBI single to start the sixth.
Kevin Connell relieved Mason and gave up two hits but pitched out of a bases loaded, one out jam including a fly out to the warning track in center off the bat of Josh Hyman to keep the Bulldogs comfortably ahead. Zach Sherrill worked the eighth for his 16th appearance of the season, the top mark in the SoCon, whileDavid Rivera finished up in his 15th game of the year.
The Citadel banged out seven hits and drew five walks in the first and reached double figures in runs in an inning for the first time since scoring 11 against Charleston Southern on March 23, 2004. The record for most runs scored in a first inning is 12 set against Salisbury State on March 21, 1983.
Fifteen batters came to the plate in an opening inning that was capped by a three-run homer by Joe Jackson, his third of the season and fourth of his career. The junior catcher also walked with the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh innings to match his career high with five RBI and took over the team for the season with 25, one more than Tyler Griffin.
Mason Davis grounded out to start the inning before the next six Bulldogs reached base. Drew DeKerlegand and Jackson drew walks, a run scored on a wild pitch and Bo Thompson singled in the second run of the inning for his 21st RBI of the year.
Griffin and Bullard reached on walks and Thompson scored on a single by Calvin Orth, with Orth extending his hitting streak to a career-long nine with the knock. Another base on balls to Hughston Armstrong and an infield single by Davis made it 5-0, and DeKerlegand doubled to the fence in left for two more runs. Jackson followed with his long home run to right.
The Bulldogs could have added to their total as Thompson doubled and Griffin singled to put runners at the corners with one out before Wofford reliever Tanner Hawley was finally able to get out of the inning. Luke Leftwich was the starter for the Terriers and departed after eight hits on three hits and the five walks.
Johnathan Stokes added a two-run single in the fourth to make it 12-1. An RBI double by Davis was part of a two-run sixth that pushed The Citadel advantage to 14-4, and the Bulldogs scored four in the seventh including run-scoring base hits by Davis and DeKerlegand, who both drove in three runs on the day.
The Bulldogs finished with 14 hits, the sixth straight game and 12th time this season they have reached double figures in that category. The run total was the most since a 20-15 win over Elon on March 20, 2010 and most in a nine-inning game since a 20-6 victory over Davidson on April 11, 2009. That Elon game also represented the most recent time before Sunday that all nine Citadel starters scored at least one run.
The Citadel will host South Carolina on Tuesday at Riley Park in a game sponsored by TD Bank with first pitch scheduled for 7 p.m. The game has been designated as a Blue Out, with all Bulldog fans encouraged to wear blue to the game, and the first 1,000 Citadel fans will receive a free rally towel courtesy of YP.