JP Sears led The Citadel baseball team to a 4-1 victory over ETSU with a complete game, two-hitter on Saturday afternoon at Joe Riley Park.
Sears struck out 13 batters in the victory, marking his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season and ninth of his career. The junior recorded his second two-hitter of the season after holding VMI to just two hits on March 24.
The victory is the fifth of the season for Sears who earned his first win since shutting out VMI. The southpaw now has 115 strikeouts on the season to go along with his 2.16 earned run average.
Sears was dominant throughout Saturday’s game, recording two strikeouts in each of the first three innings. He did not allow his first base runner until the fourth inning on an error and held ETSU hitless until the fifth. The Sumter, South Carolina, native closed out the game with his 13th strikeout, the fourth of ETSU’s Caleb Longley.
Taylor Cothran led off the game with a solo home run that put the Bulldogs ahead for good. The Citadel added a run in the first frame on an RBI single by William Kinney to score Jonathan Sabo.
The Bulldogs (14-29, 5-12 SoCon) added their final two runs in the fourth inning thanks to squeeze bunts by Clay Martin and Cole Buffington. Jeffery Brown added two hits in the game and a run scored in his second straight start. Joe Sabatini laced a double down the left field line in the fourth inning and later scored.
The victory clinched the series for the Bulldogs and gives them a two-game lead over ETSU heading into the series finale on Sunday. The Bulldogs will go for the sweep with first pitch at 1 p.m. Live statistics and video will be available at CitadelSports.com.
Prior to Sunday’s game, the team will honor seniors Barrett Charpia and Beau Strickland for Senior Day after the pair graduated from The Citadel on Saturday.
Bottom 1st – The Citadel 1, ETSU 0: Taylor Cothran scored on a solo home run to left field with no outs.
Bottom 1st – The Citadel 2, ETSU 0: Jonathan Sabo scored from second on a single to left field by William Kinney with one out.
Bottom 4th – The Citadel 3, ETSU 0: Joe Sabatini scored from third on a sacrifice bunt fielder’s choice to third base by Clay Martin with no outs.
Bottom 4th – The Citadel 4, ETSU 0: Jeffery Brown scored from third on a sacrifice bunt by Cole Buffington with no outs.
Top 8th – The Citadel 4, ETSU 1: Cullen Smith scored from third on a ground out to shortstop by Jammer Strickland with one out.