March 7, 2013

The Citadel Opens Southern Conference Play Friday Against Samford at Riley Park

Charleston, S.C. – The Citadel opens its Southern Conference season this weekend when it hosts Samford in a three-game set at Riley Park.

The opening game of the series is Friday at 6 p.m. followed by contests on Saturday at 3:30 and Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games can be seen on Bulldog Insider by going to www.citadelsports.com.

The Citadel is riding a three-game winning streak including a 3-1 victory at Winthrop on Wednesday that improved its record to 8-5. Samford is 9-5 and has won four in a row. Three of its losses have come to SEC powers Mississippi State (twice) and Alabama.

Samford holds an 8-4 lead in the series, with each of the 12 games coming after the Alabama-based Bulldogs joined the SoCon in 2009. A year ago, Samford won two of three games in Birmingham before going on to win the SoCon tournament title.

Samford won the first two games of the series last season at Joe Lee Griffin Field by scores of 10-5 and 11-3 before The Citadel rallied for two runs in the ninth to salvage the final game 5-4.

A pair of right handers will start Friday's game, with senior Austin Pritcher on the hill for The Citadel and junior C.K. Irby taking the ball for Samford. Pritcher is 2-0 and has not allowed a run in 18 innings so far this season while Irby is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 16 innings.

Pritcher, the reigning SoCon Pitcher of the Month, will be looking to atone for last year's outing against Samford when he was touched up for 12 hits and eight runs in 6 2/3 innings. Irby pitched out of a ninth inning jam to get the save in that game before taking the loss in the Sunday finale.

Sophomore lefty James Reeves (1-1, 5.68) will match up with Samford junior southpaw Eric Wright (2-0, 1.77) on Saturday, and freshman right hander Austin Mason (1-0, 2.79) will face junior righty Alex Milazzo (3-0, 3.00) on Sunday.

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