Bucs fall in extra-inning thriller to Gardner-Webb

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 11:01 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was unable to complete its second comeback of the evening as the Buccaneers fell in an 11-inning contest to visiting Gardner-Webb in the Big South opener on Friday, 5-4.

Gardner-Webb (20-16, 19-8 Big South) took the one-run lead in the top of the 11th inning on a Dom Peroni solo home run to put the Runnin’ Bulldogs in control in extra innings.

The Bucs (13-19, 13-15 Big South) rallied back in the bottom of the 11th inning with CSU loading the bases on a Sam Trend-Beacom single, while Brooks Bryan and Connor Aldrich both drew walks to put the tying run at third base. However, GWU reliever Isaac Campbell (S, 3) picked up his third save of the season getting the final out to close out the contest.

CSU fought its way back into the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with timely hitting against GWU reliever Kyle Skidmore. Johnny Oliveira sparked the rally with a one-out ground-rule double down the right field line to put the Bucs in scoring position. Brooks Bryan followed with a two-run home run over the left field wall to tie the game up at 4-4 and force extra innings.

Oliveira and Kyle Sandstrom both posted three-hit games to pace the CSU offense in the contest, while Bryan and Reid Hardwick both posted multi-RBI games.

R.J. Petit went 7.1 innings in the no-decision for the Buccaneers. The sophomore right-hander surrendered five hits and two runs while striking out six in his seventh quality start of the season. Krishna Raj, Connor Yoder, Sam Hunt, Bradyn Kail, and Jordan Bridges (1-2) also saw time on the mound in a relief effort.

Mason Miller matched his counterpart in the start with the GWU ace going 8.0 innings allowing five hits and two runs while striking out 11. Langdon Wilson (3-1) picked up the win after hurling 1.1 scoreless innings, while Campbell picked up his third save.

Keiji Parkhurst added a home run in the game to pace the GWU offense, while Cam Pearcey and Eric Jones both posted multi-hit games.

How They Scored

Reid Hardwick’s two-run infield single scored Tyrell Brewer and Sam Trend-Beacom in the bottom of the fourth inning and gave the Bucs the early 2-0 lead.

Keiji Parkhurst evened the score with an opposite-field home run scoring Patrick Ferguson in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game up 2-2.

GWU took advantage of a CSU error in the top of the eighth inning with Mitch McLendon coming across the plate to put the Runnin’ Bulldogs ahead 3-2.

Another CSU error brought another GWU run across the pate in the top of the ninth with Parkhurst coming across the plate to put the Runnin’ Bulldogs up 4-2.

Brooks Bryan evened the score at 4-4 with his pinch-hit two-run home run scoring Johnny Oliveira in the bottom of the ninth forcing extra innings.

Dom Peroni put GWU ahead for good with a leadoff home run in the top of the 11th.

News & Notes

Friday night’s contest marked Charleston Southern’s first extra-inning game of the 2021 season.

It was the Bucs first extra-inning contest since the 2019 Big South Championships when CSU and Radford went 13 innings on May 22, 2019, at SEGRA Stadium.

Reid Hardwick extended his hitting streak to five games on Friday night.

Friday marked R.J. Petit’s team-leading seventh quality start of the season and sixth game in the last seven that he has gone at least seven innings on the mound.

Jordan Bridges and Bradyn Kail both made their team-leading 14th appearances on the mound on Friday night.

Sam Hunt made his 10th appearance of the 2021 season.

Up Next

Charleston Southern closes out the Big South series against Gardner-Webb on Saturday afternoon with first pitch in the doubleheader set for 1 p.m. at Nielsen Field at the CSU Ballpark. Both games are set to be streamed on ESPN+.