Bucs unable to keep pace with UNC Asheville in series opener
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to keep pace with UNC Asheville in the series opener on Friday night at Nielsen Field at the CSU Ballpark as the Buccaneers fell to the Bulldogs, 15-3.
UNC Asheville (2-7, 1-3 Big South) pushed across five runs in the top of the second inning to take the lead early and Brandon Lankford’s grand slam highlighted an eight-run fifth frame as the Bulldogs secured the win over the Buccaneers.
Houston Parker paced the Bucs (2-5, 2-2 Big South) with a 2-for-3 effort from the plate with a pair of RBI to highlight CSU’s offense in the contest. Kyle Sandstrom added two hits, while Derek Horton added a double as the Bucs fell to .500 in Big South play on the year.
R.J. Petit (1-2) suffered the loss on the mound for the Bucs as the redshirt sophomore went 2.2 innings and recorded three strikeouts, while surrendering six runs. Christian Baker, Holden Tucker, and Sam Massey went the rest of the way for the Bucs with Massey closing out the contest with 1.2 innings of hitless relief.
Justin Honeycutt (1-0) picked up his first win of the season for the Bulldogs following a 4.1 inning relief appearance. Honeycutt surrendered one hit in the relief outing in support of starter Brett Johnson, while Zeus Ponder and Blake Little closed out the contest for the Bulldogs.
How They Scored
UNC Asheville took advantage of a three-hit second inning with Sebastian Dunn’s two-out, two-run single capping the damage in the Bulldogs’ five-run inning
The Bulldogs went up 6-0 in the top of the third as Cam Johnson singled in PJ Heintz with two outs in the frame.
The Bucs took two back in the bottom half of the inning with Johnny Oliveira and Houston Parker recording back-to-back bases-loaded infield singles to cut the gap to 6-2.
Asheville put across eight runs in the top of the fifth inning with Brandon Lankford’s grand slam highlighting the frame as the Bulldogs went up 14-2.
Asheville added their final run of the contest in the top of the sixth inning as Ty Kaufman’s RBI groundout scored Cam Johnson.
The Bucs pushed across their final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth as Parker connected on a sacrifice fly to straightaway centerfield scoring Kyle Sandstrom.
News & Notes
Houston Parker has hit safely in five of the Bucs’ seven games on the season and has multi-hit efforts in three of the last four.
Parker has also connected on a double in three of the Bucs’ last four games to lead the team with four two-baggers on the season.
Kyle Sandstrom has hit safely in four of the Bucs’ last five games and has scored a run in each of the last three contests.
Friday night marked the fielding debuts of Andrew Bullock and Brooks Bryan as Bullock came in to play first base in the eighth inning, while Bryan took over as catcher in the seventh.
Sam Massey continued his scoreless streak in his second appearance of the season as the freshman left-hander has posted 3.2 innings of hitless relief on the year.
CSU and UNC Asheville close out the Big South series tomorrow afternoon with first pitch of Saturday’s doubleheader set to start at 1 p.m. Both games will be carried live on ESPN+.