Ryan Clark allowed only two hits and tied his career high with 10 strikeouts, leading UNCG to a 5-0 win over The Citadel in the opening game of a Southern Conference series Friday evening in Greensboro.
The teams will wrap up the series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m. due to the strong likelihood of rain in the Piedmont Triad area on Sunday. Both ends of the twinbill can be seen on the SoCon Digital Network.
The Bulldogs (16-19, 2-8 SoCon) got singles from Jacob Watcher in the second and Johnathan Stokes in the third but were held hitless the rest of the way as Clark recorded his second career complete game.
James Reeves turned in a solid start for The Citadel, going seven innings and allowing nine hits and all five Spartan runs (three earned) with one walk and 10 strikeouts. He had his third double digit strikeout game of the year and has fanned 77 and walked only 14 in 60 2/3 innings this spring.
The Bulldogs put a runner in scoring position only twice, including the second when William Kinney was hit by a pitch with two outs and Watcher grounded a single behind the bag at second. But Spartan center fielder Zac MacAneney made a diving catch of a shallow fly ball off the bat of Ryan Kilgallen to keep it a scoreless game.
Barrett Charpia, who replaced Austin Mapes in left field early in the game, drew a two-out walk in the eighth, ending a streak of 12 straight retired by Clark. Charpia advanced to second on a passed ball but was stranded, ending the Bulldogs' last scoring chance.
Meanwhile, the Spartans (16-17, 7-6) reached Reeves for the only runs they would need in the fourth. Jake Kusz drove a double into the gap in left center to plate Collin Woody, and Kusz scored on a single up the middle by Devin Ruiz to give UNCG a 2-0 lead.
The Spartans added two unearned runs in the fifth on a ground out and sacrifice fly and completed the scoring an inning later on an RBI single by Kusz, who finished with three hits on the day.
Zach Sherrill relieved Reeves and worked a perfect eighth. It was Sherrill's 133rd career pitching appearance, moving him within two of equaling The Citadel all-time record held by Raymond Copenhaver.