CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team used a five-run sixth inning to take an 8-5 lead but it would not hold, as The Citadel got two runs in each of its final two at-bats to claim the 9-8 victory at Joseph P. Riley Park in Charleston, S.C. on Tuesday evening. The Blue Hose fall to 4-5 on the year, while the Bulldogs improve to 3-4.
How It Happened
Offense was on display on the night, as the two teams combined for 17 runs on 23 hits. Both teams got the scoring started in the second inning. PC got three straight singles to load the bases with no outs and TJ Richardson plated the game’s first run with a sacrifice fly to left to give the Blue Hose the early 1-0 lead. The Citadel answered in the bottom half in similar fashion, as a JD Davis sacrifice fly tied the game at 1-1.
The Bulldogs extended the lead with two runs in the third and fourth innings with PC adding a run in the fourth as well. An RBI triple by Ben Peden and a sac fly by Joe Sabatini in the third made it a 3-1 game. PC answered in the top half of the fourth on an RBI double by Nick Guimbarda, scoring Nick Wise from second after his second hit of the game. The Citadel pushed the lead to three with an RBI double and an RBI single from Jonathan Sabo and Will Kinney, respectively, to make it a 5-2 game after four.
PC would not go away though, adding a run in the fifth before busting it open with its five-run sixth to take the lead. In the fifth, Andrew Bladt led off the inning with a single to center and two batters later Cletis Avery scored him with an RBI double to right center, cutting it to 5-3 at the time. The sixth saw PC send 10 batters to plate en route to five runs on five hits with Wise getting everything started with his third hit of the night. Guimbarda and Richardson each provided a run with doubles to tie the game, before an error and an RBI single by AJ Priaulx allowed three more to cross the plate and gave the Blue Hose the 8-5 lead.
The Citadel rallied for the win with four runs across its final two at-bats of the night. In the seventh, a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch allowed two to score and cut the advantage to 8-7. Then, in the eighth, an RBI double by Taylor Cothran and a bases loaded hit-by-pitch put two on the board in its favor, giving the Bulldogs the 9-8 lead.
PC threatened with two outs in the ninth, loading the bases thanks to a pair of walks and a single by Guimbarda. Sabo squashed the potential final inning rally, though, with a three-pitch strikeout to preserve the victory for the Citadel and earn the save in the process.
Pitchers of Record
Former Blue Hose hurler Aaron Lesiak (1-0), who graduated from PC last May, earned the win in the contest, tossing 1.0 perfect inning in relief against his former team.
Ryan Hedrick (0-2) suffered the loss, working 1.2 innings and allowing two runs on two hits with three strikeouts against two walks.
Sabo recorded the save with a scoreless ninth inning, allowing one hit and issuing a pair of walks against two strikeouts.
Player of the Game
Nick Guimbarda was 4-for-5 at the plate for the Blue Hose, doubling twice, driving two runs and scoring another. He singled in the second on a bunt, doubled to drive in a run in the fourth and doubled to drive in a run in the sixth before later scoring as PC took the lead at the time. The only time he failed to reach came in the seventh but Guimbarda singled with two outs in the ninth to put the go-ahead run on base.
- Nick Wise also had a big game at the plate, going 3-for-5 with three runs batting out of the cleanup spot for PC. He singled in each of his first three at-bats and subsequently scored each time.
- The Blue Hose have now totaled double-digit hits in four of its last five games, upping its team batting average to .264 through nine games.
The Blue Hose are back in action tomorrow with another road contest as they travel to Greensboro, N.C. to take on North Carolina A&T at 4 p.m. at War Memorial Stadium.