In another close ball game, The Citadel baseball team was unable to come away with a victory in a 13-inning 2-1 loss to No. 27 Mercer on Sunday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (12-25, 3-9 SoCon) scored a run in the opening frame on a Ben Peden RBI single, but were held scoreless for the final 12 innings by the Mercer pitching staff.
The Citadel's pitching staff was just as impressive as they held the No. 5 scoring offense in Division I to no runs through the first seven innings. The Bears (35-7, 14-1 SoCon) tied the game in the eighth on a sacrifice fly to send the contest to extra innings for the second time in the series.
The Bulldog pitchers continued to post zeroes until an error with two outs in the 13th inning allowed the eventual winning run to score for Mercer.
Despite playing the No. 1 team in the Southern Conference and the Division I wins leader, the Bulldogs hung with Mercer in all three games of the series. Each game was tied in the ninth inning or later as the Bulldogs held the Bears' lineup to just 13 runs over the weekend. The two runs scored on Sunday by Mercer tied its lowest scoring output of the season.
Making his first start of the year since the Bulldogs' second game, Thomas Byelick showed no rust with six shutout innings against the top hitting lineup in the conference. Byelick allowed just six hits and one walk with six strikeouts on the afternoon and left the game in line for the win.
Kyle Smith was stellar in relief working into extra innings. Smith allowed one hit and one walk in 3.2 shutout frames. Jordan Merritt received the tough-luck loss, allowing an unearned run in one inning pitched.
Offensively, Taylor Cothran led the Bulldogs with his third-straight three hit day. Cothran finished the weekend 9-for-13 at the plate. William Kinney and Joe Sabatini each added two hits for The Citadel.
The Bulldogs complete their non-conference season on Tuesday, hosting Coastal Carolina at 6 p.m. They then return to SoCon action, visiting Furman April 28-30.
-per The Citadel Athletics