Bucs split with Runnin’ Bulldogs in series-opening doubleheader
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Charleston Southern and Gardner-Webb split Saturday’s doubleheader at Bill Masters Field at John Henry Moss Stadium as the Buccaneers took the opener against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, 5-1, while CSU fell in the nightcap, 6-5.
R.J. Petit (2-2) went eight strong innings and posted a season-high 10 strikeouts in the Bucs’ opening win, while Christian Maggio, Tyrell Brewer, Houston Parker, and Reid Hardwick all had multi-hit games on the day to highlight the CSU (6-6, 6-3 Big South) offense.
Gardner-Webb (3-8, 2-3 Big South) took advantage of timely hitting and a key CSU error in the second game to secure the split on Saturday. The Runnin’ Bulldogs were added by multi-hit contests by Mitch McLendon and Joe Simone, while Simone and Bo Rusher had multi-RBI games in the win.
Game One: Charleston Southern 5, Gardner-Webb 1
R.J. Petit turned in another dominant start at the Bucs’ right-handed ace went 8.0 innings and recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts in the series-opening win over the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Petit surrendered just three hits and retired 13 batters in a row from the second through the seventh innings in his second win in Big South play on the season.
The Bucs struck for the opening run of the contest in the top of the first as Houston Parker recorded an RBI groundout scoring Kyle Sandstrom to put CSU ahead 1-0 early.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs rallied back to even the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second inning as Joe Brazil scored on a CSU error on Mason McLendon’s grounder to tie the game up after two.
The Bucs took the lead for good in the top of the third as Johnny Oliveira and Christian Maggio connected on a pair of RBI singles in the inning to retake the lead.
CSU would go on to add runs in the sixth and the seventh innings with Sandstrom’s RBI single scoring Reid Hardwick, while Maggio’s RBI single scored MJ Sasapan to provide the final margin.
Petit retired 18 of his final 20 batters before turning the ball over to Jordan Bridges in the bottom of the ninth. Bridges would retire the final three batters to close out the CSU win.
Petit surrendered just three hits over his eight innings and allowed just the one unearned run in the win. Bridges added a strikeout in his lone inning of work.
Mason Miller (2-1) suffered the loss on the mound for the Runnin’ Bulldogs after allowing five runs (four earned) and eight hits over 6.2 innings of work. Dalton Strickland went the final 2.1 innings in one-hit relief for GWU.
Game Two: Gardner-Webb 6, Charleston Southern 5
Gardner-Webb utilized a late seventh-inning rally highlighted by a Charleston Southern error as the Runnin’ Bulldogs fought their way back to split the doubleheader on Saturday afternoon as the Bucs fell 6-5.
After CSU retook the lead following Reid Hardwick’s RBI single in the top of the seventh, the Runnin’ Bulldogs rallied back with two runs in the bottom of the frame to go ahead 6-5. Gardner-Webb scored both runs with two outs in the frame as Simone’s drive to right field was misplayed allow Ben LaSpaluto to score and tie the contest up at 5-5. Two batters later, Bo Rusher singled in Simone to put GWU ahead 6-5.
The Bucs put runners on base in both the eighth and ninth innings, but GWU’s Connor Gleeson escaped both jams in recording his first save of the season.
Gardner-Webb struck first in the bottom of the first off CSU starter Krishna Raj as the Runnin’ Bulldogs scored three in the opening inning. Simone’s two-run triple highlighted the inning for GWU, while Rusher added an RBI groundout for the final run in the inning.
GWU added another run in the second as McLendon singled home Benino Mendella to put the Runnin’ Bulldogs ahead 4-0.
The Bucs answered in the fourth with four runs as Connor Aldrich connected on a two-run double scoring Christian Maggio and Reid Hardwick, while Kyle Sandstrom and Houston Parker added RBI in the inning to tie the game up.
Christian Baker (1-1) suffered the loss after surrendering both unearned runs in a 2.1 innings relief appearance. Raj went the first 4.1 innings and added six strikeouts, while Sam Massey closed out the final four outs while striking out three.
Bobby Alcock (1-1) picked up the win for the Runnin’ Bulldogs after a three-inning relief outing that was highlighted by seven strikeouts. Isaac Campbell went the first four innings in the no-decision, while Gleeson earned the save for his work over the final two innings.
News & Notes
Kyle Sandstrom ran his team-leading on-base streak to 23 consecutive games as the senior reached base in both contests on Saturday afternoon.
Christian Maggio connected on his first multi-hit game of the 2021 season with the third three-hit game of his collegiate career in Saturday’s opener.
R.J. Petit’s 10-strikeout game marked the first double-digit strikeout effort in his collegiate career.
Tyrell Brewer connected on his fifth double of the 2021 season, tying Houston Parker for the team lead in the second game of the day.
CSU improved to 5-0 in games when the Bucs scored first this season.
Christian Baker, Sam Massey, and Jordan Bridges all made their second appearances on the week after all three pitched in the midweek contest against Presbyterian.
CSU and Gardner-Webb will face off in the rubber match of the series tomorrow afternoon with first pitch set for 3 p.m. at Bill Masters Field at John Henry Moss Stadium.