Bulldogs take crosstown series against Bucs

CHARLESTON, SC - Jonathan Sabo and Taylor Cothran hit solo home runs and Alex Bialakis pitched six scoreless innings to carry The Citadel Bulldogs to a 6-2 win and a series win over Charleston Southern on Sunday afternoon at Joe Riley Park.

The Citadel built an early 3-0 lead behind a first inning home run from Sabo and took a shutout into the ninth inning to improve to 5-5. CSU falls to 5-7.

The Bulldogs dropped Friday night's series opener, but held CSU scoreless for 16 consecutive innings over two days to claim the series.

"When you get punched in the gut on Friday night, it's a challenge and our guys responded," Citadel head coach Tony Skole said following the win. "We challenged (the team) to come back. To bounce back and win the series shows some toughness. This was very clean baseball for us the last 18 innings."

Bialakis (W, 2-0) allowed five hits and struck out four to pick up his second win of the season in his first start of the year. Three Bulldog pitchers combined to not allow a walk.

"Proud of Alex Bialakis, he gave us very strong start for us for a second day in a row," Skole added. "Alex Smith came in and bridged the gap to set up Buster. Offensively, we did some nice things, had some competitive at-bats, hit the ball hard a few times. It was fun to watch today."

Extra-base hits were the difference between the two offenses. CSU outhit the Bulldogs, 12-9, but two home runs and a pair of RBI doubles all led to runs for The Citadel.

The Bulldogs jumped on CSU starter Tyler Weekly (L, 1-2) for two runs in the first. Sabo lined the first pitch he saw out to left center for a solo home run, his first of the season. Cothran added a solo shot in the seventh for an insurance run.

J.D. Davis' RBI double off the base of wall in the second scored Ben Peden for another run to extend the lead to 3-0 through two.

The Bulldogs added a fourth run in the fourth on an RBI single from Sabo to plate Peden and pus the lead to 4-0. Peden grabbed an RBI of his own in the fifth with a single to center to plate Cameron Jensen.

CSU posted two runs in the ninth to spoil the shutout as Alex Andronica's ground-rule double pushed two runs home.

Sabo, Cothran, and Peden all finished 2-for-4 for the Bulldogs. Sabo and Cothran had two RBIs apiece and Peden scored twice.

CSU's Jason Miller was 3-for-4 and scored a run.

The Bulldogs host Georgia on Tuesday at Riley Park. First pitch is at 4 p.m.

-per The Citadel Athletics