BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Saturday presented a new chance and Charleston Southern took that literally.
The Buccaneers (17-29, 7-13 Big South) came out swinging early jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning and leading the whole way to a 9-3 series-tying win over Campbell (26-16, 14-5 Big South).
Five Charleston Southern hitters collected at least two hits on the day with seniors Jason Miller and Josh Litchfield turning in three-hit performances whole scoring a combined three runs and driving in three more.
CSU got the offense going early with Miller’s RBI single and Max Ryerson’s RBI fielder’s choice for a 2-0 lead. Campbell would scratch across a run in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk, but CSU starter Cam Weinberger wiggled out with just one run allowed thanks to a line drive caught at third and pop fly to second.
The Bucs took that momentum back to the plate to score seven of the final nine runs of the day posting two runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and two-more for insurance in the eighth.
Freshman righty RJ Petit continued to mow-down hitters retiring 14 of the 16 batters he faced Saturday tossing the final 4.2 frames to earn the win and move his scoreless inning streak to 21-straight and force a rubber game Sunday.
How They Scored
· Jason Miller started the scoring with an RBI single through the left side and 1-0 lead before Max Ryerson made it 2-0 Bucs on an RBI fielder’s choice.
· Campbell scratched one back on a bases-loaded walk to make it 2-1, but Cam Weinberger shut the door to keep the Bucs ahead – a lead they would never relinquish Saturday.
· CSU took that momentum from Weinberger’s efforts and posted two-more runs on Ryan Stoudemire’s two-run double down the right field line making it a 4-1 CSU margin.
· The Camels had one more response in the bottom half of the fifth, but that’s all the CSU pitching staff would allow leaving runners on the corners and escaping with a 4-3 lead.
· Insurance was the name of the game for CSU from there scoring three in the sixth on a two-run single from Ryan Stoudemire and RBI bases-loaded walk from Josh Litchfield.
· Two-more CSU runs came across in the eighth as Litchfield collected his third hit and run of the game while Javon Martin scored the final CSU tally on Miller’s RBI double.
News and Notes
· Three Bucs collected three hits – Jason Miller, Reid Hardwick and Josh Litcfield – while two-more collected at least two hits – Javon Martin and Ryan Stoudemire.
· RJ Petit tossed 4.2 scoreless innings to close the game earning a win out of the bullpen setting down 14 of the 16 batters he faced and striking out three Camels. Petit extended his scoreless inning streak to 21 with the outing Saturday and has allowed just two runs since Big South play began back on March 15 at Winthrop.
· Litchfield and Martin each scored three runs on the day while drawing a pair of walks.
· Ryan Stoudemire extended his team-best RBI count to 34 with a four on Saturday while Jason Miller added two doubles and Reid Hardwick collected his first triple of the 2019 season.
· The trio of Josh Peters, Reid Hardwick and Brooks Bryan accounted for the other three CSU runs as Peters came home after a walk and Bryan and Hardwick came home in the sixth frame.
Charleston Southern and Campbell conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m. from Jim Perry Stadium with the Bucs seeking a huge series win at the Big South preseason favorite.
What They’re Saying
“We just tried to take short swings. Their pitcher threw hard and we just tried to get a few good swings on it – it worked out for us.” – Jason Miller on the team’s approach at the plate.
“I’m so proud of them, it gives a lot of confidence knowing we don’t have a lot of pressure to score runs and we have confidence in them to be able to shut down the opposition.” – Miller on the pitching performances from Cam Weinberger, Eddit Hiott and RJ Petit.
“My first two at-bats didn’t go as well as I planned, he blew the fastball by me and I knew he was coming with it first pitch, so I just geared up and tried to shoot something the other way. We got out ahead early and our pitchers made big pitches. Cam gave us a great start and that gave us confidence –you feel a lot better when you can go out there and score some runs while your guys are shutting it down. The way RJ was pounding the zone and the speed he was working at made things easy for the defense as well.” Ryan Stoudemire on his approach and the work from the staff.
“We had a clean nine innings, got all of our mistakes out of the way last night. It’s a matter of learning from those mistakes and moving on to the next day – we got a clean slate at 0-0 in the first, if we clean up those mistakes we’ll be alright. Guys swung the bat well – Campbell’s starter was a really talented guy and that’s just one of those situations where if you get the opportunities you have to make most of them. We did a decent job of working the pitch count and getting that up and forcing the bullpen into the game.” Coach Ward on the team’s approach.