CHARLESTON, SC - The Citadel baseball team took a 2-0 lead after the first inning Friday night, but Samford scored eight straight runs en route to claiming a 9-4 win in the opening game of a three-game, Southern Conference series at Joe Riley Park.
Due to the threat of rain in the Charleston area on Saturday afternoon, the second game of the series has been moved up to 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 7.
The home Bulldogs (12-17, 3-4 SoCon) established an early lead in the bottom of the first as Jonathan Sabo sent a sacrifice fly to deep center field, giving Jeffery Brown enough time to tag up and cross the dish. Ben Peden followed that up with a single up the middle that scored William Kinney to give The Citadel a 2-0 lead.
In the top of the second inning, Samford (17-14, 5-2 SoCon) pulled to within one with a single unearned run when Anthony Mulrine doubled down the left field line to score Max Pinto.
The Bulldogs from Birmingham then took the lead for good in the top of the third with three runs off three hits and added to the lead with four more runs in the top of the sixth off five hits.
The Citadel was able to get a run back in the bottom of the sixth when Bryce Leasure scored off a Sabo single up the middle, but Samford matched them with a run of their own in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom of the seventh, Ryan McCarthy scored the final run of the game off a blooper of a single to first base by Cameron Jensen.
Leasure ended the game with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate that included the one run scored. Sabo chipped in his two RBIs on a 1-for-3 night as the Bulldogs collected seven hits.
Samford was led by four Bulldogs with two hits each, including Troy Dixon, Austin Edens, Pinto and Mulrine. Edens added three runs batted in and Pinto scored three runs himself.
Dylan Spence (L, 2-3) pitched the first 5.1 innings for The Citadel and struck out two batters while Cody Shelton (W, 1-2) earned his first win on the year in 6.1 innings of work.
-per The Citadel Athletics