Charleston Southern heads into final exam week on a four-game winning streak as the Buccaneers topped Wofford on Tuesday night in a neutral site matchup, 5-2.
The Bucs (21-20) utilized home runs from Brandon Gragilla and Aaron Miller to take control of the game early. The CSU bullpen took command after that, limiting the Terriers' (22-19) lineup throughout the contest with multiple pitchers recording strikeouts in key situations in the non-conference win at Lexington County Baseball Stadium.
Gragilla and Nate Blanchard paced the CSU offense with three hits apiece in the game, while Jason Milleradded two hits, including a RBI double in the third inning as the Bucs followed up their weekend sweep over Radford with the win in their only matchup against Wofford in the 2017 season.
Evan Nations (1-1) went the first 2.1 innings in the staff day on the mound for the Bucs, striking out the side in the Wofford second inning before turning the ball over to the bullpen in the bottom of the third. Ryan Stoudemire, Adam Andrew, Daniel Johnson, Seth Owens, Jamison Mobbs, Wil Hartsell, and Cody Smith (S, 8) went the rest of the way and kept Wofford off the board to complete the victory.
Eleven of the final 13 outs recorded by the CSU pitching staff came by strike out with Hartsell and Smith closing out the contest with six consecutive strikeouts.
Brett Hash and Carson Wain led the Terriers with multi-hit efforts from the plate in the loss. The duo was also responsible for both Wofford RBI in the game.
Chris Sheehan (3-1) suffered his first loss of the season after going 4.1 innings and allowing three runs (two earned) and eight hits, while striking out five.
Wofford opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning as Wain connected on a two-out double to the right center gap scoring Hash to give the Terriers the 1-0 lead. The Bucs previously had thought to work their way out of the inning as catcher Mike Sconzothrew out his 10th base runner of the season getting McClain Bradley for the second out of the frame on the attempted steal.
Gragilla evened the scoring in the top of the second for the Bucs with his fifth home run of the season. The senior designated hitter lifted the 1-0 offering from Sheehan over the centerfield fence to knot the score. The Bucs took the lead later in the frame as Cole German singled home Kyle Vesnesky with two outs to give CSU the 2-1 advantage.
Nations shut down the Terriers in the bottom of the second as the redshirt junior struck out the side in the frame.
The Bucs added to their lead in the top of the third as Jason Miller connected on a one-out double to the left center gap that short hopped the fence. The drive scored Nate Blanchard to give CSU the 3-1 lead.
Brett Hash put the Terriers' second run of the game across the board with two outs in the bottom of the third. His grounder down the right field line snuck just inside the first base bag allowing Alex Malsch to score and narrow the CSU lead down to 3-2.
After the Bucs loaded the bases in the fifth and failed to score, Aaron Miller made sure CSU touched the plate in the top of the sixth with his fifth home run of the season. The freshman connected on the first pitch he saw from Wofford reliever Reece Maniscalco for a two-out, two-run shot over the left field fence bringing home Blanchard to give the Bucs the 5-2 lead.
The Bucs bullpen took over from there with Johnson, Owens, Mobbs, and Hartsell combining to strike out eight batters over 3.1 innings. Hartsell entered the contest with two on, none out in the eighth inning and proceeded to strike out the side to keep the Bucs' lead intact heading into the ninth.
Cody Smith struck out the side in the ninth to close out the contest and pick up his eighth save of the season.
Charleston Southern takes a week off for exams before traveling to Savannah, Ga. and Savannah State University on Wednesday, May 3rd. First pitch at the Tiger Baseball Field is set for 5 p.m.