The Citadel baseball team utilized 13 hits and scored at least three runs in three innings to defeat Towson 11-3 in the opening game of a three-game series Friday afternoon at Joe Riley Park.
"I thought Dylan, after giving up a run in the first, was really good, and then he gave us five good scoreless innings. We really needed a quality start out of him today to give us some momentum and he delivered," said head coach Tony Skole. "Alex then came on and pitched the last two and one-third inning without giving up a hit or a run, so I'm very proud of our pitching staff. And offensively, we got some big, timely hits and took advantage of their mistakes. We played very aggressively today, and that's something we haven't been doing lately. No matter the sport, college athletics are games of momentum and we've been fighting so hard to get some positive momentum on our side and we finally got some today."
Due to the threat of rain forecasted for Sunday, April 15, the Bulldogs (13-20) and Tigers (9-23) will now play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 14 that will begin at 10:30 a.m. The first game will be a traditional nine-inning game and the second game, which begins 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first, will be a seven-inning contest.
Towson started the game off by scoring a run in the top of the first, but the Bulldogs answered in the next frame by taking a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the second off five hits.
Taylor Cothran started the scoring off as he singled with one out and advanced to second when Ben Peden singled through the left side. Two at-bats later, Clay Martin singled up the middle to score Cothran and then Jeffery Brown scored Brooks O'Brien. After Brown stole second, William Kinney ripped a single to right field that scored both Martin and Brown.
In the bottom of the fourth, The Citadel extended the lead out to 5-1 as Bryce Leasure singled up the middle to score Brown. Brown reached safely with a single up the middle and stole his second base on the day earlier in the frame.
The Tigers were able to claw their way back into the game in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs off three hits, but Alex Bialakis came on for the final out of the inning, leaving the tying run on first.
From there, it was all Citadel as Peden extended the lead back out to five, 8-3 with a bases-loaded double to right-center field in the bottom of the inning. Sabo singled, Ryan McCarthy walked and Cothran walked to set up the big swing by Peden.
The scoring drive was capped in the bottom of the eighth with three unearned runs. McCarthy used an RBI single to drive in Leasure with Sabo and McCarthy scoring on a wild pitch and passed ball, respectively.
All nine starting position players logged a hit in the game with Brown, Leasure, Sabo and Peden all getting two hits. Kinney joined Peden with multiple RBIs on the day as Kinney drove in two runs and Peden drove in three.
Dylan Spence (W, 3-3) pitched the first 6.2 innings to earn the win, scattering six hits and three earned runs while striking out four batters. Bialakis came on for the final 2.1 scoreless innings to earn his first save of the season.
Bo Plagge (L, 1-3) pitched the first two innings while being saddled with the loss.
The Bulldogs and Tigers will pick the series back up on Saturday, April 14 with a doubleheader that begins at 10:30 a.m. The first game will be nine innings, but the second game, which will start about 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first, will be seven innings.