Charleston Southern comeback bid falls short at UNC Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Charleston Southern baseball dropped the final installment of a three-game set with UNC Asheville Sunday afternoon, falling 14-13 at Greenwood Baseball Field.
The Bucs took the lead in the eighth after scoring five runs in the seventh and eighth, but UNC Asheville answered with two in the eighth that proved to be the difference.
Charleston Southern (10-16, 2-4 Big South) (8-13, 3-2 Big South) struck first in the opening frame for the first time in the series as Connor Carter’s infield single drew an errant throw that allowed Ajay Sczepkowski to come around to score.
UNC Asheville (9-13, 4-2 Big South) got the last laugh in the first, as the home team found two in the bottom-half to take its first advantage. The first run came after Michael Groves drew a walk with the bases loaded to score Ty Kaufman.
Cam Johnson’s sacrifice fly later in the frame plated Dominic Freeberger to round out the first-frame scoring.
The Bulldogs laid claim to the innings to follow as well, finding two in the second, four in the fourth and one in the fifth.
The second inning saw Wade Chandler score on a passed ball and Grayson Preslar come around on a Kaufman ground ball to short. Frame number four featured Robbie Burnett, Dylan Bacot and Groves all pick up RBI-knocks before Groves scored the final run of the inning vis a wild pitch.
The fifth frame had Preslar scoring on a sacrifice fly before a rebuttal in the sixth by Charleston Southern.
Ryan Waldschmidt left the yard for a two-run shot with Connor Carter scoring on the play.
The Bulldogs would match it in their half of the sixth with a Chandler single through the left side and a Kaufman sacrifice fly.
The seventh and eighth frames went the way of the Bucs, as the visitors scratched five across in each of the two innings. The seventh started with a Jared Payne single to center before Austen Izzio hit the first grand slam of the year for Charleston Southern.
A Waldschmidt HBP with the bases loaded in the eighth started the rally in which CSU would take the lead. Payne came up big again in the eighth with a 10-pitch at-bat that resulted in a two-RBI single.
Peyton Mills then roped a double to left center before Peyton Basler’s sacrifice fly gave CSU the advantage. UNC Asheville answered right back in the eighth in what would prove to be the final two runs of the contest. Groves drew a bases-loaded walk to tie it at 13 before Johnson’s sacrifice fly scored Burnett to make it a 14-13 ballgame.
Zac Robinson (L, 1-1) gets the loss for Charleston Southern after being responsible for the winning run in the eighth.
Evan Truitt lasted 3.2 innings and surrendered five earned on nine hits.
The Bucs used eight different pitchers in the contest, four of which pitching at least an inning. JP Perez (W, 2-0) gets credited with the win for the Bulldogs after coming on in the seventh and recording the final four outs.
Jacob Edwards got the no decision after going 5.1 innings and giving up just a single earned on seven hits and four punchies.
Charleston Southern will shift its focus back to the non-conference side of things as they have a trip to Atlanta, Georgia next up on the ledger. The Bucs will meet Atlantic Coast Conference member Georgia Tech in a single nine Tuesday, March 29. First pitch is slated for 6:00 p.m. at the Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium.
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