CHARLESTON, SC - Senior Nick Orvin and sophomore Tyler Griffin each recorded three hits as The Citadel pushed across 10 runs over the first four innings and held on for a 10-7 victory over Richmond Saturday afternoon in The Citadel Memorial Challenge presented by the Charleston Crab House at Riley Park. The win snaps the Bulldogs' 13-game losing streak dating back to last season. The Citadel will face Liberty Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. to close out the season-opening tournament.
The Bulldogs scored three runs in the opening frame to give freshman starter Kevin Connell some offensive support in this collegiate debut. Mason Davis opened the inning with a full-count walk and stole second. With one out, Orvin singled to third and senior Justin Mackert grounded into a fielder's choice to put runners at the corners. Sophomore Drew DeKerlegand drew a base on balls to load the bases and Griffin connected on the first pitch he saw with a two-run single to center and a 2-0 Bulldog lead. Freshman Bailey Rush walked on four straight pitches to reload the bases and sophomore Calvin Orth drilled a RBI single up the middle to give The Citadel a three-run advantage.
With one out in the second, sophomore Joe Jackson singled to left center and Orvin followed with a sharply hit single to second. Richmond's Adam Forrer sailed the late throw past the first baseman and Jackson scored on the error, with Orvin advancing to second. After stealing third, Orvin scored on a RBI single down the left-field line by Mackert, who would later score on a RBI double to right by Griffin. DeKerlegand reached on a fielding error by Adam McConnell at third and scored on Forrer's second error of the inning to put the Bulldogs up 7-1 after two frames.
After a two-run homer by Jacob Mayers in the top of the third cut The Citadel's lead to 7-3, the Bulldogs scored a pair of runs in their half of the inning to take a 9-3 advantage. Jackson drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a throwing error by Richmond reliever Alex Maffett during a pickoff attempt. Orvin doubled to right center to drive in Jackson and he moved to third on a passed ball with one out. DeKerlegand lined a RBI single to right center to bring home Orvin for the Bulldogs' ninth run.
Richmond pushed across two more in the top of the fourth on a RBI triple by Bryan Conway and a passed ball by Grant Richards. The Bulldogs got a run back in the bottom of the fourth on a RBI single by Davis that scored Richards, who reached base on a hit by pitch and stole second. The Spiders scored single runs in the final two innings to cut into The Citadel's lead, but the Bulldogs' bullpen was up to the task on the evening.
Five pitchers worked the game for the Bulldogs, with freshman James Reeves picking up the win. The southpaw allowed one run on four hits over 3-1/3 innings of relief. Connell lasted three innings in his first start of the season, scattering five hits and allowing five runs.