The Citadel drops series opener against Mercer
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 10:04 PM EDT
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel committed a pair of costly errors in the first inning that put the Bulldogs in a hole they were not able to dig out of in falling, 7-3, to Mercer in the Southern Conference opener Friday evening inside Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
Score: Mercer 7, The Citadel 3
Records: Mercer (15-8, 1-0), The Citadel (13-8, 0-1)
Location: Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park (Charleston, South Carolina)
Series: Mercer leads 1-0
How it Happened
- The Bears took advantage of a pair of Bulldog throwing errors to push across five unearned runs in the first inning. Eli Runyan and Ty Dalley each had RBI doubles in the frame.
- The Bulldogs got a run back in the bottom of the first inning after Thomas Rollauer drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a double from Noah Mitchell. Sawyer Reeves drove in Rollauer with a groundout to short.
- MU added a run in the second inning on a solo homer from Jackson Cherry.
- The Bulldogs got the offense going in the fourth inning as Reeves started the inning with a double into the left-field corner. Wells Sykes followed with a RBI triple into the right-field corner, before scoring on a Dylan Costa groundout.
- The Bears added another unearned run in the eighth on a two-out single up the middle from Treyson Hughes.
Inside the Box Score
- Right hander Gant Starling had a career day out of the bullpen as he allowed just one unearned run on three hits and seven strikeouts over 4.1 innings.
- Starling had not pitched more than 2.1 innings in his career.
- Sam Swygert (2-1) suffered the loss after allowing six runs, one earned, on nine hits and four strikeouts over 4.1 innings.
- As a staff, the Bulldogs struck out 11 hitters, marking the 14th time this season the Bulldogs struck out at least 10 batters in a game.
- The Citadel had seven hits, with seven different players collecting a hit.
- Sawyer Reeves doubled and drove in a run, while Wells Sykes had a RBI triple.
- Dylan Costa drove in the third run with a groundout.
- Travis Lott collected a hit and was also hit by a pitch for the 11th time this season. He extended his streak of reaching safely to 31 games dating back to last season.
- Ryan Lobus (3-1) allowed three runs on five hits and four strikeouts over 5.0 innings to pick up the victory.
The teams play the middle game of the three-game series Saturday afternoon at the new start time of 1 p.m.
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