Ryan McCarthy hit his first-career home run in the second inning and then delivered the game-winning RBI in the top of the 10th to hand The Citadel a 6-5 win over ETSU in head coach Tony Skole's first game back to Johnson City since taking over the reins of his alma mater.
The win over ETSU (23-18, 8-8 SoCon) marked the first win for the Bulldogs (16-27, 5-11 SoCon) over the Bucs in Johnson City since March of the 2001 campaign. ETSU was 8-0 over The Citadel in Johnson City since the last Bulldog victory there.
The two teams combined for six two-out runs scored, including five by ETSU, with most of the scoring being done early.
McCarthy started the scoring off in the top of the second inning when he homered to left field with two outs. In the bottom of the frame, the Bucs were able to push two runs across with two outs on the board, taking their first lead of the game.
In the top of the third, Jonathan Sabo tied the game with a solo homer of this own, but the Buccaneers responded with a three spot in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead heading into the top of the fourth.
With two men on in the fourth, Adam Colon delivered his first triple of the season, scoring Jeffery Brown and McCarthy to pull the 'Dogs back to within one. Clay Martin didn't waste his shot at tying the game as he then singled to right field, giving Colon plenty of time to race home, knotting the game back up at five-all.
The game progressed scoreless for the next five and a half innings with both teams turning to their bullpens to close things out. The Bulldogs turned to Jordan Buster (W, 4-3) for the final 3.2 innings while ETSU sent Drew Korzybski (L, 2-3) to the mound to close out the final five innings.
In the ninth, both relief pitchers put the first batter they faced on base via a hit by pitch. The Bulldogs managed to move Sabo over to second before ETSU ended the threat. In the bottom half of the inning, the Bucs squandered their opportunity at getting the runner into scoring position when Chris Cook was gunned out for the second out of the inning while trying to steal second.
In the top of the 10th inning, Taylor Cothran led things off with a single through the left side before advancing to second during Brown's at-bat. That's when McCarthy struck pay dirt again with his game-winning single up the middle.
McCarthy ended the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored and his pair of RBIs while Brown and Colon each registered two hits on the night.
The Bulldogs sent Buster back out to close things out in the bottom of the frame and as he did early in the season, he did not disappoint despite putting the leadoff batter on via a walk. Buster got the second batter to foul out to J.D. Davis at third and then retired the final two batters via back-to-back backwards Ks.
In his 3.2 scoreless innings of work, Buster struck out four batters compared to giving up just one hit and one walk. Dylan Spence started the game on the bump and struck out five batters in 6.1 innings.
Korzybski struck out four batters in his five innings of work, but also gave up six hits and the game-winning earned run.
-per The Citadel Athletics