CSU drops series finale vs Longwood
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Longwood baseball needed every bit of perseverance and grit it possessed on Sunday afternoon, and the team may have given the coaching staff some new gray hair in the process. The Lancers (17-26, 6-12 Big South) found a way, though, in extra innings after seeing a seven run lead evaporate against Charleston Southern to earn a hard-fought 9-7 win in 10 innings in the series finale.
Hayden Harris drove in the winning runs with a two-run single in the 10th, and Dominick D’Ercole gutted his way through the bottom half of the inning to preserve the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
A wild finish capped a roller coaster of a game that saw Longwood jump out to a 7-0 lead through six and a half innings. Charleston Southern (19-20, 11-7 Big South) tied the game in the eighth, but the Lancers found a way.
With the score knotted at 7-7 heading into the 10th, Gregory Ryan, Jr. led off with a hustle double to shallow center field. After Tanner Thomas beat out a perfectly placed bunt, Luis DeLeon came on and stole second in place of Thomas. With two in scoring position, Harris ripped a screamer through the left side of the infield, and both runners scored for a 9-7 Lancer lead.
D’Ercole then navigated his way through the top of the Charleston Southern order. While the Bucs put runners at first and third, D’Ercole struck out Kieran Davis with a breaking ball that dotted the corner to end the game. D’Ercole tied a season high with his 3.0 innings while striking out three and walking two. He gave up three runs, two earned, on five hits.
It was a game that seemed like it was set up for a pitcher’s duel, as each side’s freshman starter hurled four scoreless innings to start the game.
Ethan Walker took the bump for Longwood in his first start in Big South play after four prior midweek starts. The lefty promptly tossed 4.2 scoreless innings with a career best six strikeouts. He worked around four hits and two walks before giving way to Brenton Fisher. Fisher ended the fifth and also tossed a scoreless sixth.
For Charleston Southern, Johnny Alkire also threw well. He pitched into the fifth before running into trouble. He struck out five while giving up two runs, both earned, on three hits and a walk.
That trouble came in the name of Harris. Harris hammered a solo homer to lead off the fifth inning, and Collin Hughes swatted his first collegiate homer immediately thereafter to chase Alkire from the game. Ryan added a sacrifice fly later in the inning for a 3-0 Lancer lead.
Ryan then swatted a three-run home run of his own in the seventh. His 11th homer of the year was part of a four-run inning for Longwood that extended the lead to 7-0.
Charleston Southern answered though. A two-run home run from Nico Regino put the Bucs on the board, and they tied it up with a five-run eighth. D’Ercole came on in relief in the half, but CSU still tied the game.
However, once D’Ercole got out of the eighth, he tossed back-to-back scoreless innings to win the game.
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