Bulldogs Clinch Series with 3-1 Win over Furman
CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to break a tie game and earn a 3-1 victory over Furman Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference action at Riley Park. The win is the fourth straight in SoCon play for the Bulldogs, who improved to 24-27 overall and 13-13 in the league. The two teams will take the field for game three of the series Sunday afternoon for a Senior Day matchup at 1:00 p.m.
TJ Clarkson picked up the victory for the Bulldogs, scattering two hits over 2.1 innings of work with one walk and one strikeout. Ryan Hines earned his seventh save of the season, allowing one hit in the ninth, while starter Kevin Connell went tossed 5.2 solid innings, giving up one run on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Nate Smith took the loss for Furman (22-28, 9-17), despite striking out 10 Citadel batters in seven innings. Smith allowed two runs – one earned – on four hits and two walks. Three errors plagued the Paladins, who outhit the Bulldogs eight to five.
Two runs in the bottom of the eighth proved to be the difference in the ballgame. Mason Davis opened the frame with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on a deep fly out to center by Justin Mackert. Joe Jackson ripped a RBI double down the right-field line on a 0-1 pitch from Furman reliever Stephen Gary to plate Davis for a 2-1 lead. Back-to-back walks by Bo Thompson and Tyler Griffin loaded the bases and Grant Richards drove a sacrifice fly to center to plate Jackson for the 3-1 lead and clinched the series for the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the third when Johnathan Stokes led off the frame with a double to the wall in right center. Nick Orvin reached on a fielding error by Hunter Burton at short that allowed Stokes to move to third and the freshman shortstop scored on a wild pickoff play at first. Orvin was caught in a rundown between first and second, but an errant throw by Smith allowed Stokes to score from third for an unearned run.
Furman knotted the game in the sixth on a RBI double by Chris Ohmstede. With two outs, Andy Abrams singled through the right side off Connell and after Clarkson relieved the freshman southpaw, Ohmstede lined a 1-0 pitch from Clarkson down the left-field line to tie the game.
Sunday's first pitch is set for 1:00 p.m. and can be heard on Sports Radio 1450 AM with Danny Reed handling the play-by-play. The Citadel will honor its five seniors, Damon Ardis, TJ Clarkson, Justin Mackert, Nick Orvin and Grant Richards before the game.
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