February 25, 2012

Thompson, DeKerlegand Highlight Bulldogs’ 12-8 Win over Delaware

Charleston, S.C. – The Citadel used a seven-run first inning, highlighted by a three-run homer by Bo Thompson, and Drew DeKerlegand went 3-for-3 on the afternoon as the Bulldogs held on to defeat Delaware 12-8 at Riley Park on Saturday. The two teams wrap up the series Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.

Delaware (2-4) struck first with a single run in the top of the first. Cameron Travalini led off the game with a single to right and DJ Long drew a four-pitch walk from Bulldog starter James Reeves. A fly out to right by Nick Ferdinand moved Travalini to third and a RBI infield single by Tyler Powell gave the Blue Hens an early lead.

The Citadel's (2-4) offense exploded in the bottom of the frame, scoring seven runs and knocking Blue Hens starter Eric Soren from the game after just seven batters. After Mason Davis grounded out to second, the next eight Bulldog batters reached base and put up six runs during the stretch. Joe Jackson got things going with a double to left center and the Bulldogs got the bases loaded after a walk by Nick Orvin and a hit by pitch on Justin Mackert. DeKerlegand drew a full-count walk to force in the tying run and Tyler Griffin ripped a two-run double to right for a 3-1 Citadel lead.

Thompson proceeded to clear the bases with his first collegiate home run, a three-run shot over the fence in left center, for a 6-1 lead and prompting Delaware head coach Jim Sherman to go to his bullpen early in the game. The Bulldogs were not done offensively, as Calvin Orth doubled off Blue Hens' reliever Ken Fetchko and Bailey Rush followed with a RBI single up the middle to give The Citadel a 7-1 lead after the first inning.

The Blue Hens scored twice in the top of the second to cut the Bulldogs' lead to 7-3. Singles by Brock Niggebrugge and Ty Warrington put runners at the corners and a sacrifice fly by Travalini and a RBI double by Ferdinand brought home the two runs.

The Bulldogs regained the six-advantage with two runs in the fourth for a 9-3 lead. Jackson reached on a two-base error by Ferdinand in right and scored on a RBI single to left by Mackert. After Mackert was caught stealing second, DeKerlegand doubled to left center and later came home on a RBI single to center by Griffin. The Citadel increased its lead to 10-3 in the seventh on a RBI single to right center by Orth that scored DeKerlegand.

Delaware made the game interesting in the eighth, scoring five unearned runs on a pair of errors and three base hits, including a grand slam to left by Ferdinand. With Ross White on in relief, Niggebrugge reached on a fielding error by White and walk put runners at first and second with one out. A fielder's choice to short advanced the runners, when Davis mishandled the ball at second for an error, allowing Niggebrugge to score. DJ Long singled up the middle and Ferdinand drove a 3-1 pitch from White over the wall in left, cutting the Bulldogs' lead to 10-8.

The Citadel added a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to seal the win. Davis drew a lead-off walk and after Jackson was retired, Orvin walked on five pitches. Mackert struck out for the second out, but a walk by Griffin loaded the bases and DeKerlegand was hit by the first pitch from Stephen Richter to force in a run. Thompson worked a full-count walk to force in the second run of the frame and close the scorebook on the afternoon.

Reeves improved to 2-0 on the season, scattering seven hits in five innings and allowing three runs with three walks and a strikeout. Zach Sherrill picked up his first save, tossing 1-2/3 scoreless innings on two hits. Thompson and Griffin each had four RBI on the afternoon, while DeKerlegand scored three times to go with his three hits, including two doubles.

Soren took the loss for the Blue Hens, allowing six runs on three hits with two walks in one-third of an inning. Ferdinand finished with two hits and five RBI, while Travalini added three hits.

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