March 1, 2012

Pritcher, Mackert Lead Bulldogs to 4-1 Win over Columbia

Charleston, S.C. – Austin Pritcher scattered two hits over six solid innings and Justin Mackert drove in a pair of runs as The Citadel won its third straight game, defeating Columbia University 4-1 at Riley Park Thursday evening. The Bulldogs even their overall record at 4-4, while Columbia fell in its season opener. The two team return to the field Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader that starts at 12 p.m.

The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Mackert that plated Mason Davis. Davis opened the frame with a single down the right-field line and advanced to third on a double to left by Joe Jackson. Mackert lifted a 0-1 pitch to right that gave Davis ample time to scamper home for the 1-0 lead.

Columbia evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the second. Alexander Aurrichio led off the inning with a triple down the right-field line and scored when Eric Williams followed with a RBI groundout to second.

Mackert came through again in the third inning with a RBI triple to right center, giving the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead. Jackson hit a one-out single through the left side, but was retired on a fielder's choice by Nick Orvin for the second out. Mackert drilled a 0-1 pitch to the wall in right center to score Orvin from first and give the Bulldogs the lead for good.

The Bulldogs added single insurance runs in the fourth and seven innings for the 4-1 final. A sacrifice fly to left by Bailey Rush scored Bo Thompson from third in the fourth, while Rush drew a lead-off walk in the seventh, advanced twice on groundouts and came home on a wild pitch by Columbia reliever David Speer.

Pritcher allowed one run, striking out four and walking four. Ryan Hines and Zach Sherrill each tossed an inning of no-hit relief, with Sherrill picking up his second save of the season.

Pat Lowery took the loss for Columbia. The 2010 Ivy League Pitcher of the Year was touched for three runs on four hits in six innings, walking three and striking out four. The Lions managed only three hits on the evening, only one in the final six innings of play.

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