Reeves Gem Gives Bulldogs Series Win over Elon

The Citadel Beats Elon, 6-1

CHARLESTON, SC - James Reeves tossed seven innings of four-hit ball and was backed by a late offensive surge as The Citadel posted a 6-1 win over Elon to take the series against its former Southern Conference rival.

The Bulldogs won the final two games of the series after dropping Friday's opener to even their record at 7-7.

Reeves, making his return to the rotation after missing last week's start with an illness, did not walk a batter and struck out eight in improving to 2-0 on the year. The redshirt junior left-hander has struck out 28 and walked only one in 18 innings this season.

Elon starter Robbie Welhaf matched Reeves pitch-for-pitch, allowing only a bunt single by Ryan Kilgallen over the first five innings before the Bulldogs got the bats rolling in the sixth. Austin Mapes tied it with an RBI single, and Connor Walsh followed with a two-run base hit that put The Citadel in front.

Mapes, Walsh and Stephen Windham each had two hits, with Walsh increasing his team-leading RBI total to 16 and Windham upping his batting average to a team-best .400.

Reeves worked around a leadoff double in the seventh, ending his day with a pair of strikeouts before giving way to closer Skylar Hunter. The Bulldogs added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, including an RBI double by Windham and a two-run pinch hit single off the bat of Jacob Watcher.

Watcher was batting for his brother, Philip, who singled in two runs on Saturday as a pinch-hitter for Jacob.

The extra runs were more than enough for Hunter, who picked up his fifth save of the season by striking out the side in the ninth, giving him four on the day. Hunter increased his career save total to 33, four shy of matching the Southern Conference record held by Elon's Thomas Girdwood.

Reeves allowed only one hit through the first three innings before Elon (7-5) scored its lone run in the fourth on a double by Casey Jones and run-scoring single by Joey Tomko. Reeves escaped further damage that inning and then allowed only one more base runner over his final three frames.

The game could have been a lot more one-sided in The Citadel's favor if not for a pair of defensive gems by the Elon outfield. Ryan Cooper stole a homer to right by Mapes in the fourth, and Quinn Bower reached over the fence in center to take away a three-run shot from Drew Ellis in the sixth.

The Bulldogs travel to Rock Hill on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game against Winthrop before returning home to face Lafayette in a three-game series beginning Friday.