The Citadel knocked out 15 hits and scored in six of its eight innings at the plate in a 14-7 victory over Elon that evened the Southern Conference series at Riley Park at a game apiece.
The rubber game is Sunday at 1 p.m. with freshman right hander Austin Masonpitching for the Bulldogs against senior left hander Spencer Medick.
The run total was the second highest of the season for The Citadel (17-15, 6-5 SoCon), trailing only an 18-9 win over Wofford on March 17, and allowed the Bulldogs to snap an eight-game losing streak to the Phoenix (19-13, 11-6).
The win was also the 499th at home for The Citadel in 22 seasons under head coach Fred Jordan, including 135 at College Park and 364 at Riley Park.
Mason Davis and Calvin Orth both had three hits for The Citadel and four other Bulldogs had two-hit games. Orth scored three times and slammed a three-run homer in the eighth, his second of the season, to put the finishing touches on the victory.
Joe Jackson also went deep with a two-run shot in the seventh to expand what was just a 9-6 Citadel lead to a five-run margin. Jackson reached base all five times up with two hits, a pair of walks and a hit by pitch, scored three runs and knocked in three to give him the team lead in RBI with 32.
Logan Cribb worked the first 5 2/3 innings to earn the win and even his record at 2-2 on the year. He allowed seven hits and six runs, with only two of them being earned, walked one and struck out a season-high six batters.
The game was tied at 1 when the Bulldogs bunched together five hits and scored five times in the bottom of the fifth to take a lead they would never relinquish. Jackson and Drew DeKerlegand had RBI singles, Stokes drove in a run with a sacrifice fly and Bailey Rush capped the uprising with a two-run double into the right field corner.
The runs came off Elon pitcher Tyler Manez (1-3), who was forced into action when Kyle Webb, the scheduled starter, had to return home on a family emergency. Manez gave up seven hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings.
The Phoenix responded to the big Citadel inning with one of its own in the fourth, scoring three times including run-scoring singles by Chris Bresnahan and Blaine Bower. But an error and DeKerlegand's second RBI single of the game in the bottom of the frame rebuilt the Bulldog margin to 8-4.
Ryan Kinsella hit his 11th home run of the season in the top of the fifth to break a tie with The Citadel's Bo Thompson for the SoCon lead and pull Elon within three runs again. Bases loaded walks issued to Thompson in the bottom of the fifth and Elon's Antonio Alvarez in the sixth left the Bulldogs in front 9-6 heading into the late innings.
Thompson walked twice and was hit by a pitch to extend his streak of consecutive games reaching base to 28 this season and 31 in a row dating back to the end of the 2012 season. Hughston Armstrong, moved up to second in Jordan's batting order, had a single to extend his hitting streak to a career-long 10 games.