Talley and Jackson Lift Bulldogs Past Cougars, 6-2
Charleston, S.C. – Matt Talley threw his second consecutive complete game and Joe Jackson tied a career high in hits and RBI to lead The Citadel past College of Charleston, 6-2, on Friday night in front of 946 fans at Riley Park.
Talley (Sumter, S.C.) went the distance for the second straight week, scattering nine hits, allowing two runs without walking a batter and struck out three. The win marks the 20th of his career as he hurled his fourth career complete game. He also picked up his 200th career strikeout when he fanned Rob Kral in the top of the sixth inning.
"We played well in all three phases of the game tonight," said Talley. "It's always nice to save your bullpen so I was just trying to go out there and keep one of the best hitting teams in the country off balance. Grant Richards really caught a great game and the defense made some outstanding plays behind me."
The win, which is the first on a Friday night since the Bulldogs blanked Appalachian State on March 4, 4-0, snaps a season-high five game skid for The Citadel (11-19, 6-10) and ended College of Charleston's (20-10, 6-4) five-game win streak.
The Cougars struck first as Rob Kral singled and came around to score when Matt Leeds sent a shallow ball into centerfield that no Bulldog could get to for a quick 1-0 lead off Talley (2-3). The Bulldogs responded in the bottom of the frame off Charleston starter David Peterson when Nick Orvin (Moncks Corner, S.C.) and Drew DeKerlegand (Pearland, Texas) led off with base hits. After a walk to Matt Simonelli (Orlando, Fla.), William Ladd (Winnsboro, S.C.) then reached on a groundout, erasing Simonelli on the play, but allowing Orvin to score to tie the game. Joe Jackson (Mauldin, S.C.) followed with an RBI single to right to score DeKerlegand to put the Bulldogs in front, 2-1.
The Citadel would take advantage of two Cougar errors in the third as Simonelli reached on a fielding error by second baseman Jesse Mesa. A single by Ladd would put runners on the corners and Jackson delivered an RBI single up the middle to plate Simonelli. Ladd would come around to score when he and Jackson advanced on a double steal and Kral's attempt to get Ladd at third sailed into left field to make it 4-1.
In the seventh, The Citadel would get a pair of insurance runs as Orvin walked and moved to second on a sac bunt by DeKerlegand. Ladd then singled up the middle as Orvin rounded third and was caught in a run down, but he evaded the tag by the Cougar infield to score as Ladd moved all the way to third on the play. Jackson then roped an RBI single, his third of the game, through the right side to make the score 6-1.
"It felt great to put an entire game together tonight," said Jackson who tied his career high in hits and RBI on the evening. "Our situational hitting was exception tonight. h\Hopefully it will get us out of the funk we have been."
College of Charleston would threaten in the ninth as Leeds led off with a single and scored on an RBI double into the corner in right by Daniel Aldrich to cut the lead to 6-2, but Talley got a pop up and a groundout to finish out the game and preserve the win for the Bulldogs.
"Talley pitched outstanding for us tonight," said Bulldogs Head Coach Fred Jordan. "He pitched both sides of the plate and really challenged the strike zone all night long. We got some timely hits and made some nice plays defensively. Hopefully we can carry it into tomorrow."
Jackson paced the Bulldogs, going 3-for-4 with three RBI while Ladd went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs and an RBI. Kral, Aldrich and Leeds all two hits apiece to lead the Cougars. Peterson (4-3) took the loss, going 7.0 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs (four earned), three walks and struck out two.
The Citadel and College of Charleston meet for game two on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Riley Park. Live audio, video and stats will be available. Stay current on Bulldog Baseball at all new CitadelSports.com.