The Citadel beats Coppin State, 5-1 in opener

The Citadel beats Coppin State, 5-1 in opener
Shane Connolly struck out 8 in 7 innings in a 5-1 win over Coppin State (Source: The Citadel Athletics)

CHARLESTON, SC. – The Citadel left hander Shane Connolly struck out a career-high eight over seven innings to lead the Bulldogs to a 5-1 victory over Coppin State in the season opener Friday afternoon at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.

VIDEO: The Citadel starts 2020 with win over Coppin State

Game Information

Score: The Citadel 5, Coppin State 1

Records: The Citadel (1-0), Coppin State (0-1)

Series: The Citadel leads 1-0

Location: Charleston, South Carolina (Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park)

Key Plays

  • The Bulldogs played fundamental baseball early in the game as Ryan McCarthy and Ches Goodman each delivered RBI groundouts.
  • Shane Connolly got a popup with one out and runners on the corners in the sixth inning. He followed it up by getting a lineout to short with the bases loaded to end the inning.
  • McCarthy came up big again in the seventh with a RBI double to extend the Bulldog lead.

How it Happened

  • Jeffery Brown started the season by taking an 0-2 pitch into the gap in left center for a leadoff triple.
  • Two batters later, Ryan McCarthy hit a chopper to the left side that scored Brown from third.
  • In the third, Tyler Corbitt drew a leadoff walk and went to third when McCarthy lined a single to right field. Ches Goodman drove in Corbitt with a groundout to second.
  • The Eagles got on the board in the fourth inning after a walk came around to score on a Justin Banks double to left center. Banks was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play at the plate.
  • The Eagles threatened in the sixth inning as they put runners on the corners with one out. Connolly got the next hitter to hit a popup on the infield for the second out.
  • After a walk loaded the bases, Connolly got out of the inning with a lineout to shortstop.
  • The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the seventh inning as Brown singled to center and stole second on the next pitch.
  • McCarthy drove in Brown with a two-out double into the corner in right field.
  • The Citadel pushed two more runs across in the eighth inning when Cole Simpson was hit by a pitch. Pinch runner Lane Botkin went to second when Travis Lott blooped a single into shallow left field.
  • Botkin then stole third and scored when the throw went into left field.
  • A sacrifice bunt from Cam Jensen moved Lott to third and Tilo Skole followed with a suicide squeeze that turned into a RBI base hit.

Inside the Boxscore

  • Shane Connolly (1-0) got off to a strong start as he struck out a career-high eight batters over 7.0 innings. He allowed just one run on four hits.
  • Last season, Connolly allowed just three hits in a complete-game shutout over Delaware State in his first start.
  • Right hander Devin Beckley pitched the eighth inning and struck out all three hitters he faced.
  • Gant Starling made his collegiate debut in the ninth, striking out a pair.
  • As a team, the Bulldog pitching staff struck out 13 hitters, including seven of the last nine outs.
  • Ryan McCarthy led the offense by going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
  • Jeffery Brown and Tilo Skole each added two hits. Brown scored a pair of runs and Skole drove in a run.
  • Freshman Travis Lott and Crosby Jones each collected their first collegiate hits.
  • Lott threw out each of the first two potential base stealers early in the game.

On Deck

The two teams will play the middle game of the three-game series Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.