CHARLESTON, S.C. – In a game that saw all 10 runs in the first four innings, it was the defense and pitching from Presbyterian that allowed the visitors to take a 6-4 decision and even the weekend series one game apiece in Big South action.
Jackson Dean settled in after allowing four runs in the first four innings to toss a complete game effort and lead the Blue Hose (28-27, 15-11 Big South) to a victory Friday night. Cody Maw, Hunter Illing and Jordan Bridges combined for 5.1 scoreless frames, but Charleston Southern (21-33, 11-15 Big South) fell behind early and couldn’t scratch across the tying run down the stretch.
The Bucs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead behind a solo shot to right center from Max Ryerson and two-run single from Javon Martin, but five-straight hits led to four Presbyterian runs for a 4-3 lead, one they would hold until the final pitch.
Both Martin and Ryerson posted two-hit days in the loss while Ryan Stoudemire, Jason Miller, Josh Peters, Kyle Horton and Brooks Bryan all had a base hit. Peters connected on a mammoth solo home run in the bottom of the fourth to bring the score back to 6-4 in favor of Presbyterian, but both offenses were held in check over the final five innings as the score would hold.
Cam Weinberger took just his second Big South loss on the season tossing 3.2 frames as his final two runs surrendered came unearned and proved to be the difference. Weinberger also struck out a pair of Blue Hose batters across his 3.2 innings Friday.
How They Scored
· Max Ryerson continued his rookie tear smashing his eight homer of the season to get the scoring started and give CSU a 1-0 lead in the second.
· A two-out, two-run Javon Martin single gave the Bucs a 3-0 lead through two innings and looked like they had Presbyterian starter Jackson Dean on the ropes.
· A four-spot from the Blue Hose in the top of the third, however, would flip the momentum and give Presbyterian the lead for good as Dean clamped down and held CSU off the scoreboard after Josh Peters’ fourth-inning solo blast.
· Presbyterian would add two unearned runs in the fourth to extend their lead to 6-3 adding the needed insurance before Peters’ efforts in the bottom half.
· Both staffs dug their heels in over the final five innings stranding base runners and posting zeros. CSU got the tying run to the plate, but Dean worked his magic one final time to close it for the complete game and series-tying win.
News and Notes
· Max Ryerson’s solo shot in the second gave him eight on the season to lead and he added a single in the sixth for another two-hit day – his 12th such performance.
· Ryerson’s .338 average, eight home runs and 39 RBI’s lead all Big South freshman as the Myrtle Beach native has been a hitting machine since being inserted into the Buccaneer lineup.
· Javon Martin also had a two-hit night, his seventh of the season. Martin is also hitting .382 in Big South games to lead the squad with all four home runs coming versus conference foes.
· Senior southpaw Cody Maw made his final appearance at CSU in a Buccaneer uniform tossing 2.2 innings of relief with three strikeouts and allowing just one hit.
· CSU has a chance to make it four series wins over their final five to end the regular season with a win Saturday on Senior Day and make it five Big South wins over their past six contests.
The regular season finale awaits CSU and Presbyterian as the Blue Hose’s win locked up a top-five spot and bye into the double elimination portion of next week’s tournament. CSU is locked into the No. 7 seed even with a win Saturday and will take on the No. 8 seed Tuesday night in the opening round.