Charleston Southern nearly climbed out of a 6-0 hole in the ninth inning of a Big South Championship elimination game on Thursday morning. Nearly. The Bucs’ Chase Shelton hit a two-run home run and CSU proceeded to load the bases with two outs, but Campbell shortstop John Reilly snagged Brian Welch’s line drive to end the game and the Bucs’ season with a 6-2 loss to the Camels at Winthrop Ballpark.
Campbell improves to 36-20 and advances to face the loser tonight's game between Coastal Carolina and Winthrop. CSU ends its season with a 30-26 record, the most wins by the Bucs in 14 years (2001).
“You have to tip your hat to Campbell, they played well,” CSU head coach Staurt Lake said following the game. “We are disappointed. We had a great season and didn’t want it to end this early. It hurts right now and will for a while the way it ended, but this was a good year for us and this is a good team.”
Campbell starter Hector Cedano (WP, 7-0) held the Bucs to eight hits and two late runs. He struck out two and walked only two to work into the ninth inning. Closer Ryan Thompson came on to pick up his 15th save.
The Camels turned four double plays and took advantage of a couple of CSU base running errors.
Starter Andrew Tomasovich (LP, 7-3) struck out five and held Campbell to two runs through six innings. He gave up an unearned run in the third as a would-be pick off turned into a Campbell run. Shelton’s throw to second to try and nab Steven Leonard skipped into left field to set up an RBI ground out from Matt Parrish.
The Camel’s Elijah Trail hit a solo home run in the sixth to add some insurance at the time with a 2-0 lead.
Campbell blew the game open with four runs off the Bucs’ bullpen in the seventh. Reliever Will Hartsell gave up four runs, but only one was earned. A two-run single from Clayton Brown pushed the lead to 6-0.
Senior Alex Tomasovich started the rally in the ninth inning with a double into the left field corner, his 22nd of the season, which ties a CSU single-season record. It also brings his career total to 54, also a Buc record. He finished 2-for-3 and scored one of the Bucs’ two runs.
Cody Austin added a 2-for-4 day for the Bucs.