CHARLESTON, SC - Ryan Rizk picked an ideal time for his first career home run. Charleston Southern's freshman shortstop clubbed a walk-off homer in his lone at-bat of the day to lift the Bucs over Winthrop, 4-3, in 13 innings Saturday at CSU Ballpark.
Rizk, who entered as a defensive replacement in the 12th, sent a towering drive over the left field fence on the first pitch he saw to help CSU (14-31, 5-15 Big South) even the series and set up a rubber game tomorrow.
Winthrop (21-24, 13-7 Big South) held three separate one-run leads but stranded 16 runners and could not solve the Bucs' bullpen. Seniors Daniel Johnson, Cody Smith and Taylor Cox teamed with Seth Owens to toss nine innings of one-run ball. Owens (1-1) struck out two in a scoreless 13th to record the win. Arnone Riley (1-1) allowed Rizk's home run and took the loss.
Johnson did the bulk of the work for CSU's 'pen, yielding one run over five frames while punching out three. Tyler Weekley turned in a solid start prior to giving way to Johnson, permitting two runs over four innings while striking out five.
The Eagles used the long ball early, receiving solo shots from Mitch Spires in the first and Tyler Halstead in the second. CSU scratched out runs of its own in the first and third, though, to keep pace.