The Citadel baseball team rallied from down three runs, but ultimately fell 4-3 to Western Carolina on a walk-off sacrifice fly Friday night at Childress Field.
After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, the Bulldogs’ (9-17, 2-2 SoCon) offense scored runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings to knot the score up at 3-3. In the bottom of the ninth, the Catamounts (10-15, 2-2) loaded the bases with no outs before Bryson Bowman knocked home the winning run with a deep sacrifice fly.
JP Sears settled down after a three-run first inning to pitch 6.2 innings, striking out nine batters. Sears only allowed the three runs and gave the Bulldogs the chance to comeback with his sixth straight quality start.
Cole Buffington put The Citadel on the board for the first time in the fifth inning, smacking his first career home run to left-center field.
In the sixth, Taylor Cothran came through with a two-out single to score Jonathan Sabo and cut the deficit to one run.
Two innings later in the top of the eighth, Sabo drew a two-out walk and was brought home from first base on a rocketed double to left-center field by Ben Peden. Joe Sabatini nearly gave the Bulldogs the lead a batter later with a hard line out to center.
Sabo led the offense with two runs, two walks and a single. Clay Martin extended his on-base streak to 16 games with a hit-by-pitch in the third inning. William Kinney recorded the Bulldogs’ remaining hit.
Bryan Sammons struck out a career-high 14 batters for Western Carolina. Spencer Holcomb finished 4-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Catamount offense.
The Citadel continues the road series at Western Carolina on Saturday at 2 p.m. A link to live statistics will be available at CitadelSports.com.
Bottom 1st – Western Carolina 2, The Citadel 0: Caleb Robinson and Matt Smith scored on a single up the middle by Nobu Suzuki with two outs.
Bottom 1st – Western Carolina 3, The Citadel 0: Nobu Suzuki scored on a triple to center field by Spencer Holcomb with two outs.
Top 5th – Western Carolina 3, The Citadel 1: Cole Buffington scored on a solo home run to left center field with no outs.
Top 6th – Western Carolina 3, The Citadel 2: Jonathan Sabo scored on a single through the left side by Taylor Cothran with two outs.
Top 8th – Western Carolina 3, The Citadel 3: Jonathan Sabo scored on a double to left center field by Ben Peden with two outs.
Bottom 9th – Western Carolina 4, The Citadel 3: J.D. Long scored on a walk-off sacrifice fly to center field by Bryson Bowman with no outs.