Charleston Southern Earns Big South Tournament Berth with Sweep at Longwood

Charleston Southern baseball
Charleston Southern baseball(Live 5 News)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:57 PM EDT
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FARMVILLE, Va. – Charleston Southern baseball completed the three-game sweep of Longwood after taking both installments of the twinbill from Buddy Bolding Stadium Saturday afternoon. A strong start led the Bucs to a 14-9 win in the opener before an 18-4 win in the night cap clinched a spot in the 2022 Ingles Big South Baseball Championships next week.

GAME 1 | CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 14, LONGWOOD 9 Longwood (20-32, 10-14 Big South) found the first run of the game as Hayden Harris came around to score on a balk by CSU started Chandler Woolridge. Woolridge was able to answer the call early, though, limiting the damage to just one run in the frame as it served as a precursor to the remainder of his outing. Charleston Southern (21-28, 13-11 Big South) wasted no time for a rebuttal as the Buccaneers answered with three runs in the second. Austen Izzio started the rally with a two-run blast to left as Ryan Waldschmidt was plated on the play. Connor Aldrich would also benefit in the frame, coming around to score on a Sam Low single.

The third was just as beneficial to CSU as was the second as the Bucs found four more in the stanza. Casey Asman generated a run on his own after a triple to left center resulted in a Longwood miscue and allow him to score before a Waldschmidt two-run shot and a Low fielder’s choice scored Izzio.

The middle frames saw Charleston Southern scratch one across in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth to continue the offensive onslaught. Hayden Harris was responsible for the run in the fourth with a solo shot to left and Connor Carter brought Aldrich around on a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The sixth saw Aldrich have his hands in the mix again, scoring Hogan McIntosh on a ground ball to first.

Tyrell Brewer would start the scoring in the seventh for the Buccaneers, coming across on a Harris single before a McIntosh two-run bomb to center returned the Harris favor and pushed the advantage to 12 runs.

Longwood would make a little noise in the final two frames, finding five runs in the eighth and three runs in the ninth, but the deficit proved to be too much with Charleston Southern adding an insurance run in the ninth on an Ajay Sczepkowski sacrifice fly. Chandler Woolridge (W, 1-0) tossed a gem for Charleston Southern to earn his first decision of the year. The righty surrendered the lone earned run while giving up just one hit, which came in the first frame. Woolridge added four punchies to his dominate line to propel the Bucs to the game one win. Kevin Warunek (L, 4-5) took the loss for Longwood, working through just 1.2 innings and being charged with three earned across three hits. The Lancers used six arms in the contest, four of which were hit for three earned apiece.

GAME 2 | CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 18, LONGWOOD 4 Charleston Southern would pick up right where they left off in game one, following a 14-run output up with an 18-run output in the night cap. Ajay Sczepkowski got things started in the first frame with a two-run shot to left to give the Bucs the early lead. Longwood answered with a run of its own in the first as Michael Peterson scored on a Hunter Gilliam single up the middle, but it was again the ability of the CSU pitching staff that shined as the damage was limited to just the lone run.

After a scoreless second inning from both sides, the third brought four across for Charleston Southern. Carter was the first to score in the frame off an Asman sacrifice fly for his second run of the contest before the inning was continued with a single to right by Waldschmidt to score Sczepkowski. Rodriguez then plated Waldschmidt with a single up the middle before scoring himself on a Low single.

The fourth frame was proved to be significant as both sides saw three runs come across in the inning. Asman and Rodriguez each had RBI-singles and eventually came around to score to join Waldschmidt. Longwood’s runs came on a single swing, as Justin Looney hit a three-run shot to make it 9-4 and would later prove to be the closest the Lancers would get.

Charleston Southern held Longwood at bay the rest of the way while finding runs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth frames. Waldschmidt again made noise in the fifth with a three-run triple down the line to score Sczepkowski, Carter and Nicholas Fazzari while the sixth saw Aldrich come across after stealing third before a Lancer miscue allowed the extra base. Waldschmidt scored once again in the seventh on an Aldrich ground ball before Rodriguez was plated on a Jared Payne ground ball.

In the ninth, Sczepkowski collected three more runs batted in with a three-run double to left center as Brewer, Izzio and Aldrich all scored on the play. Jerry Couch (W,3-3) was awarded the decision after coming on in the fourth and tossing 3.2 innings of scoreless action, allowing just three hits to add to eight punchies. Ryan Gleason was the CSU starter, as the southpaw collected ten outs and was charged with four earned. Sam Massey, Dylan King and Zac Robinson each saw work as well in the contest, combining for two innings of clean baseball. Andrew Melnyk (L, 2-5) gets the loss for Longwood after surrendering five earned on eight hits in just under three frames of work.

“We played really well today for 18 innings of baseball. While there were certainly a few really impressive individual performances, it was another team effort,” said Head Coach Marc MacMillan. “I thought our energy, support of one another, and determination to win were as good as I’ve seen all season. The past 26-27 hours we played like B.U.C.S. So, we’ll enjoy our bus ride back to Charleston tonight; let Saturday’s games play out; then get back at it on Sunday in prep for the conference tournament next week.”

UP NEXT The 2022 Ingles Big South Baseball Championships is next on the ledger for Charleston Southern following a successful weekend in Farmville, as the only thing left to be determined will be the seed CSU will receive. Regular season play concludes across the league tomorrow, as the tournament field will be set, and more details will come to light on the rest of the field. Stay tuned for all things Charleston Southern baseball at csusports.com