The Citadel baseball team banged out 13 hits, including four that went for extra bases, but the Bulldogs ultimately fell 12-6 at the hands of Winthrop Wednesday evening at Joe Riley Park in the second game of a home-and-home series with the Eagles.
Jeffery Brown continued his recent hot streak with a 3-for-4 outing at the plate with one run batted in. In the last three games, Brown has led the Bulldogs (12-16) by batting .615 (8-of-13) with two runs scored, two doubles, a triple and four runs batted in. He has slugged .923 and boasts a .615 on-base percentage while swiping three bases during the stretch.
Taylor Cothran also went 3-or-4 with an RBI at the dish Wednesday night while Jonathan Sabo went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
"We were able to put some guys on the bases all day long and did some nice things offensively. We're really starting to get better from an offensive standpoint, but we've gone backwards a little bit from a pitching standpoint," said head coach Tony Skole. "We have to compete more on the mound. We've been behind in way too many counts, and when you're pitching from behind like that, you're always going to be in a crisis. We have to get it figured out and we need to do it in a hurry. We have several of the pieces already there that we feel good about, but we just have to put it together at the same time."
The Eagles (14-16) scored the first run of the game in the top of the first, but the lead did not last long as William Kinney ripped his fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the frame to put the 'Dogs up 2-1 as Sabo also scored off the rip.
After Bryce Leasure blasted the first pitch he saw in the game to left-center field, Cothran drove him in from second with a double down the left field foul line to set the Bulldog advantage at 3-1.
Winthrop was able to get a run back in the top of the second when Dillon Morton hit a home run to dead-straight center field, and the Eagles then took a one-run, 4-3 lead in the fourth with two runs scored.
The Citadel managed to tie the game back up at four-all in the bottom of the inning as Brooks O'Brien scored off a single by Brown after doubling to left field.
However, Winthrop exploded for seven runs between the fifth and sixth innings, scoring four in the fifth and three more in the sixth to take a 11-4 lead. The Eagles ultimately scored their final run in the top of the ninth.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Bulldogs looked to get something going as Cameron Jensen pinch hit for Brown and drew a five-pitch walk. After Jensen was awarded second due to a balk by the Winthrop pitcher, Adam Colon moved him over to third with a single to left field. Two at-bats later, Michael Ray sent a single to center field, scoring Jensen and moving Colon. Colon rounded out the scoring as he rounded third on a fielding error by the Eagles' third baseman off a sharply hit ball by Ben Peden.
Devin Beckley made his second start of the year for the Bulldogs Wednesday and pitched four complete innings, striking out a career-high five batters while earning a no-decision. Thomas Byelick (L, 0-3) was saddled with the loss despite striking out two batters. Hunter Barbee, Morgan Foulks, Ryan Stamler and Zach Taglieri all took the mound for the Bulldogs during the game with Stamler fanning two batters and Taglieri striking out three.
Colten Rendon (W, 4-2) earned his fourth win of the season for the Eagles as he pitched 4.1 frames on a pitch count, striking out five batters. The Eagles turned to five total pitchers in the game.
The Bulldogs will next host Samford for a three-game, Southern Conference series this weekend beginning Friday, April 6 with a 6 p.m. first pitch. Saturday's game will feature a 2 p.m. first pitch and Sunday's series finale will commence at 1 p.m.