CHARLESTON, S.C. – Presbyterian College outfielder Weston Jackson went 5-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, three runs scored and four RBIs to lead his team to victory, as PC held on for the 7-6 win over the Citadel on Saturday afternoon at Joseph P. Riley Park in Charleston, S.C.
The Blue Hose improve to 11-7 overall with the win and even the series at a game apiece. The two will play the rubber match on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Jackson becomes the seventh player in PC’s Division-I era to record five hits in a game, establishing a new career high in the process. The last PC player to have five hits in a game was his teammate, Jacob Midkiff, at Auburn in 2014. Jackson also tied his career high for both runs (3) and RBIs (4) in the contest and raised his batting average to .443 on the season.
Tyler Weyenberg also put together a strong day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a double and three runs batting in front of Jackson to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. AJ Priaulx went 2-for-5 with a home run, a run and two RBIs batting behind Jackson. The three combined to go 10-for-15 with seven runs and six RBIs, batting in the two, three and four spots in the order.
Hunter Kyzar (2-0) earned the victory with a 3.1 innings pitched and one run allowed on four hits with no walks against one strikeout coming out of the bullpen. PC starter Tanner Chock recorded a no decision, tossing 4.2 innings and allowing four runs (two earned) on five hits. Hayden Deal earned his third save of the season, pitching the ninth inning and allowing a run on two hits but working out of a jam to close out the game.
The PC offense immediately rebounded from Friday’s game, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Weyenberg singled with one out and Jackson followed with an RBI double to score him from first. Priaulx then hit his fourth home run of the season with a shot to right to give the Blue Hose a 3-0 lead.
The Citadel responded with three runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning. A leadoff walk and an error put runners on first and third with no outs. Austin Mapes doubled to right center to drive in both runs and scored two batters later on a single by Stephen Windham, tying the game at 3-3.
The Blue Hose added a run in the third to retake the lead. With two outs, Jackson and Priaulx recorded back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners. A Citadel throwing error then allowed Jackson to score from third to put PC back in front 4-3.
PC added to its lead on a solo home run by Jackson in the top of the fifth inning. The long ball was his team-high fifth of the season and his third hit of the game.
Citadel would tie the game with a run in both the fifth and sixth innings. A two-out single deep in the hole at shortstop plated a run in the fifth to cut the lead to one. Another two-out single, this time to left-center, brought home the tying run in the sixth to make it a 5-5 ballgame.
PC reclaimed the lead again in the seventh. Weyenberg doubled with two outs to put a runner in scoring position for Jackson. He would again come through for the Blue Hose, driving a double down the left-field line for his fourth hit of the game to score Weyenberg and put PC on top 6-5.
The two would team up to add an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Weyenberg singled with two outs again to get on base ahead of Jackson. As Weyenberg went to swipe second, Jackson lined his fifth hit of the game to right center for an RBI single and Weyenberg came around to score to make it a 7-5 lead. Jackson finished the game just a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Deal would come on to work the ninth inning and The Citadel, trailing by two runs, attempted to rally back. Jacob Watcher was hit-by-pitch to start the inning and moved to second on a groundout. An infield single put runners on first and second, before a double down the left-field line by William Kinney plated Watcher and put runners on second and third with one out. Deal came through in the clutch, though, getting back-to-back groundouts to strand the runners and clinch the 7-6 victory for PC.
Mapes and Kinney each had three hits and two RBIs to lead the Citadel in the loss. Mike Deese scored two of the Bulldogs’ six runs in the game.
As a team, PC totaled 13 hits after combining for just nine hits in its last two games. It was the 11th time this season that the Blue Hose totaled at least 10 hits.