CHARLESTON, SC - The Citadel scored 12 times over the first three innings and coasted to a 13-6 victory over UMBC in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Riley Park.
The Bulldogs (13-7) extended their winning streak to eight in the first-ever meeting with the Retrievers (4-8) on the diamond. The series concludes Saturday with a 2 p.m. doubleheader which can be seen free of charge on the SoCon Digital Network.
The winning streak is the longest since The Citadel ran off 10 in a row from April 12-27, 2013.
The early offensive explosion made the day relatively easy for Citadel starter James Reeves, who earned his fourth win without a loss. The southpaw went seven innings, allowing five hits and one run with two walks and eight strikeouts.
The two walks he gave up in the seventh were just the third and fourth Reeves has issued in 32 innings this year as opposed to 44 punch outs. The redshirt junior lowered his ERA to 2.81 while picking up his 15th career win, the most by any active Southern Conference pitcher.
Jason Smith had four of The Citadel's 14 hits while Johnathan Stokes, Austin Mapes and Connor Walsh each had a pair. Mapes launched his first career home run, a three-run shot to dead center in a four-run second that gave the Bulldogs a 5-0 lead.
The Citadel then broke it wide open with seven runs on six hits in the third. Stokes singled in a run for his second RBI of the game, Walsh and William Kinney both drove in two runs with doubles, and Philip Watcher added a two-run single to cap the inning.