Seth Neely homered off Skylar Hunter to lead off the 10th, breaking up a sterling pitching duel and giving Wofford a 1-0 victory over The Citadel in the middle game of a Southern Conference series at Riley Park.
The rubber game of the series is Sunday at 1 p.m. Saturday's defeat was The Citadel's first 1-0 loss since dropping a decision by that score to Stony Brook on March 6, 2005. It was also the Bulldogs' first extra inning loss since an 8-6, 12-inning defeat to Furman on May 13, 2012.
The Bulldog pitching trio of starter Austin Mason and relievers Zach Lavery and Hunter held Wofford (24-23, 6-13 SoCon) to only three hits through nine innings before Neely drove a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left.
The homer made a winner of Will Stillman (3-2), who worked around a leadoff walk to Drew DeKerlegand in the ninth in his only inning. Terrier closer Eric Eck retired the Bulldogs (19-27, 5-17) in order in the 10th for his 10th save of the season and 27th of his career, the most of any active SoCon pitcher.
Hunter, who is second on that list with 23 career saves, dropped to 2-4. Mason worked a season-high seven innings and allowed three hits, struck out three and did not walk a batter in taking the no-decision. The stint was one inning shorter than his career high of eight innings against Georgia Southern last April 14.
The Citadel had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the eighth against Wofford starter Matthew Milburn. Pinch hitter Connor Walsh led off the frame with a single, and third baseman Eric Brenk threw wildly to second on a bunt by Bret Hines, putting runners at second and third with nobody out.
But Milburn was able to induce Mason Davis to fly out to left and pinch runner Steven Hansen was thrown out at the plate when he took off on a grounder to short with the infield in. After an intentional walk to Bo Thompson, Milburn struck out Tyler Griffin to keep the game scoreless.
Milburn went eight innings, allowing all five Bulldogs hits and three walks while striking out six.
Mason gave up a pair of hits in the first but got a double play grounder to escape early trouble. Kody Ruedisili led off the third with a single and two ground outs moved him to third before James Plaisted popped out to second.
That began a stretch which saw Citadel pitching retire 19 in a row before Hunter walked Alec Paradowski with one out in the ninth.