Greensboro, N.C. – The Citadel Baseball team left 12 on base on Saturday afternoon and wasted multiple scoring opportunities early as they dropped the series to UNC Greensboro on Saturday afternoon at UNCG Baseball Stadium, 5-1.
The start of the game was delayed by nearly an hour and half due to rain. The Citadel drops to 20-31 overall and extends their season-long losing streak to seven games. The loss drops them to 8-18 in conference as they have fallen to ninth place in the league with several other league games still to go later in the day on Saturday.
A back-and-forth affair started early as John Hein leadoff with a base hit to center. After a sac bunt, three consecutive hits by Trevor Edwards, Drew Gehringer and Eric Brindle off Bulldog starter Justin Russell (Jacksonville, Fla.) would give UNCG an early 1-0 lead in the first.
UNCG starter Brandon Browne walked five Bulldogs in the first two frames including Drew DeKerlegand (Pearland, Texas) to score Brad Felder (Bowman, S.C.) with the bases loaded in the second. The Citadel had just one hit in the first two innings and could not get a timely hit as they left two aboard in the first and left the bases loaded in the top of the second.
The Spartans would retake the lead in the bottom of the second when Russell walked Thomas Troelstrup to start the frame. After a sac bunt and a passed ball by Joe Jackson (Mauldin, S.C.) moved him to third, a balk by Russell would bring Troelstrup home to make it 2-1.
Eric Brindle became the third leadoff Spartan to reach in as many innings as he singled in the bottom of the third, moved to second on a sac bunt and scored on a bloop flair to shallow left by Cole Harrison to make it 3-1. Russell (1-5) went just 3.0 innings, allowing seven hits, three runs (two earned), three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
A bullpen battled would ensure in the middle of the game as Browne (1-2) exited after 5.0 innings of work, allowing one runs, four hits, seven walks and a strikeout. Relievers Greg Smith and Jarrett Miller combined to shut down the Bulldog offense despite multiple scoring threats by The Citadel as Miller earned his second save of the season, going 2.1 innings and allowing just one hit.
UNC Greensboro would extend their lead in the seventh off TJ Clarkson (Coral Springs, Fla.) who hurled three scoreless innings in relief of Russell before the Spartans got to him in the seventh when Brindle reached on an infield single. Cody Walker then lined a double to left field to put a pair in scoring position and Harrison ripped a double down the left field line past Drew DeKerlegand (Pearland, Texas) at third base to score a pair and make it 5-1.
William Ladd (Winnsboro, S.C.) went 2-for-4 to lead the Bulldog offense while Harrison went 3-for-4 with three RBI and Brindle went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs to lead the Spartans.
The series finale between The Citadel and UNC Greensboro is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. at UNCG Baseball Stadium. Live stats will be available along with a recap and box score following the game on all new CitadelSports.com.