ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Charleston Southern used a ninth-inning rally in game one then controlled from start-to-finish in the nightcap to take a pair of games 3-2 and 8-2 from UNC Asheville Thursday afternoon at Greenwood Field in Big South baseball action.
The win secures a second-straight series victory for CSU (16-26, 6-11 Big South) with a chance at a sweep while UNC Asheville (12-25, 7-10 Big South) has dropped three-straight.
Junior righty Cam Weinberger picked up his second-straight Big South win tossing 5.0 scoreless frames allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out a pair. His efforts on the mound followed brilliant performances from Jaret Bennett and RJ Petit in the first contest holding UNC Asheville to just one earned run despite multiple scoring chances in the late stages.
The win also gave CSU their third-straight series victory over the Bulldogs extending their stronghold on the all-time series 54-36 since the two began playing in in the 1991 season.
Game 1 – CSU 3, AVL 2
Junior southpaw Jaret Bennett kept the Bucs within striking distance tossing 6.0 frames of just one earned run baseball before freshman righty RJ Petit slammed the door shut with 3.0 scoreless innings, striking out the final three batters he faced to claim the comeback win.
UNC Asheville scored first on a CSU error in the second inning and held a 1-0 margin before a rally in the fifth tied it 1-1. The Bulldogs would reclaim the lead 2-1 in the sixth ending Bennett’s day with just one walk and six strikeouts.
CSU had one more rally left in the tank as Josh Litchfield’s RBI single with nobody out in the top of the ninth gave the Bucs their first lead of the day at 3-2, completing the comeback. Petit closed the door with three more punchouts giving CSU a key, momentum-swinging game one victory.
How They Scored
- An error cost CSU in the second as the first run came around on a single then error for a 1-0 Bulldog margin through two.
- Bennett would buckle down and toss four-more frames allowing just one run and taking a no-decision and striking out six batters.
- CSU got on the board in the fifth on Jason Miller’s RBI double to left center scoring the eventual hero Josh Litchfield.
- The Bulldogs would reclaim the lead in the sixth on PJ Heintz’ sacrifice fly making it 2-1 UNC Asheville.
- Justin Dahill ignited the final rally drawing a leadoff walk then Josh Peters replaced him as a pinch runner. A passed ball and Javon Martin walk put runners at first and second, then a steal of third by Peters and throwing error allowed the senior outfielder to score the tying run.
- Litchfield didn’t waste his heroic opportunity driving Martin home with an RBI single on a 3-2 pitch, giving CSU the 3-2 lead – one they would hold through the bottom half of the frame.
News and Notes
- Freshman righty RJ Petit collected his second win of 2019 to move to 2-0 tossing 3.0 scoreless innings and striking out four, allowing just one baserunner.
- Ryan Stoudemire worked three walks in the comeback win Thursday afternoon, his second time reaching via base on balls three times this season.
- Josh Litchfield’s two knocks paced the CSU offense with his ninth-inning RBI coming as No. 19 this season.
Game 2 – CSU 8, AVL 2
Charleston Southern took the momentum from the ninth inning of game one and rolled to an 8-2 game two victory to claim the series and doubleheader sweep. Junior righty Cam Weinberger continued the strong pitching efforts from the Bucs with 5.0 scoreless innings striking out a pair and walking one man for his second-straight conference win.
Dante Blakeney paced the CSU offense in game two with a three-hit day while freshman designated hitter Max Ryerson and junior shortstop Javon Martin each added a pair of knocks. CSU took advantage of four Bulldog errors scoring a run in the first without a hit and one in the third before opening the contest with three-more in the fifth and seventh for an 8-0 lead.
UNC Asheville would score two in the seventh, but never go the tying run to the plate in the late stages.
Ryerson also had a team-high two RBI’s in the nightcap while Ryan Stoudemire and Jack DeLongchamps each scored twice.
How They Scored
- Josh Litchfield reached on an error to open the game then came in to score on Jason Miller’s RBI groundout.
- CSU added one tally in the third as Litchfield hit into an RBI groundout as well bringing in DeLongchamps.
- The Bucs broke it open in the fifth with a three-spot as Ryan Stoudemire reached on an error and both Javon Martin and DeLongchamps each came around to touch home plate.
- Max Ryerson collected his first of two RBI’s with a double to right center and 5-0 Buccaneer advantage.
- Three more runs in the seventh made it an 8-0 ballgame as Ryerson singled home one, Blakeney singled-in a tally and Kyle Horton’s RBI groundout brought the final CSU runner home.
- UNC Asheville scored their lone two in the seventh on Chris Troost’s RBI double and Dominic Freeberger’s RBI groundout.
News and Notes
- Jason Miller reached safely in both games to extend his on-base streak to a team and season-high 21 contests.
- Dante Blakeney collected his first three-hit day as a Buccaneer and drove-in a runner in the seventh.
- Ryan Stoudemire’s two hits across the two contests also extended his hitting streak to a season-best nine.
- CSU collected their second-straight Big South series win in the twinbill sweep and have gone 5-2 over their past six contests in search of a weekend sweep of the Bulldogs.
- The Bucs also won their third-straight series versus UNC Asheville dating back to the 2017 season.