CLINTON, S.C. – Trailing 1-0 heading to the eighth inning, the Presbyterian College baseball team got RBI singles from TJ Richardson and Connor Slagill to score two runs en route to the 2-1 victory over Gardner-Webb on Saturday at the PC Baseball Complex to even the series. PC improves to 22-23 overall and 10-7 in the Big South, while GWU drops to 22-20 overall and 9-8 in the Big South.
How It Happened
Gardner-Webb got its lone run of the game in the first inning. After a groundout, an infield by Mickey Dugan, an error and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Danny Sullivan then drew a bases loaded walk to force in Dugan from third and give GWU a 1-0 advantage. Tanner Chock would get a strikeout and a flyout to left to end the inning with no further damage done.
Chock certainly settled in from there, allowing just one base runner the rest of the way. The righty allowed a one-out single in the second, before going on to retire the next 20 batters in order, as he worked through the eighth inning with six straight 1-2-3 innings.
GWU starter Bradley Hallman did his best to try and match Chock, allowing four hits and issuing a walk in his 7.0 innings of work to keep PC off the board while he remained in the game.
PC finally cracked through in the eighth, after Hallman was replaced after 108 pitches. Jack McLaughlin led off the inning with a pinch-hit infield single to the tying run on base. Chris Thompson then came on to run for McLaughlin and Glen Casaceli moved him to second with a sac bunt. Brett Auckland then put runners on the corners with a bunt single, while also extending his hitting streak to 10 games. TJ Richardson would tie the game with an RBI single through the left side, scoring Thompson from third and putting the go-ahead run on second. After a fielder's choice put runners at the corners with two outs, Connor Slagill got his third hit of the game with an RBI single to score Auckland from third and give PC the 2-1 lead.
Ryan Hedrick then came on to close it out in the ninth. After a groundout to start the inning, Collin Thacker singled to left to put the tying run on for GWU with a pinch runner coming at first. Sullivan then reached on a hit-by-pitch to put two, before a flyout to right allowed the runner on second to move up, putting runners at the corners with two outs. Hedrick finished it off, getting a flyout to center to end the game and give PC the 2-1 win.
Pitchers of Record
Chock (2-5) earned the win with his stellar work, allowing just the lone run on two hits in 8.0 innings of work with nine strikeouts against two walks.
GWU's Jarrett Thompson (3-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in his lone inning of work out of the bullpen.
Hedrick picked up his seventh save of the season with the scoreless ninth inning, allowing just one hit and hitting a batter.
Player of the Game
Tanner Chock turned in arguably his best start of the season, holding the Runnin' Bulldogs to just one run and two hits while striking out nine batters on the afternoon. The righty retired the final 20 batters he faced in the game, working six straight 1-2-3 innings from the third frame onward. In the last two seasons against Gardner-Webb, Chock has allowed just one run on four hits in 17.0 innings of work with 16 strikeouts against two walks to go 2-0.
- Connor Slagill led the Blue Hose at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI in the victory. The righty drove in what proved to be the game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. It is the first career three-hit game for the sophomore and his fifth multi-hit game of the season.
- TJ Richardson had a two-hit game for the second straight day. The Blue Hose backstop drove in the tying run in the ninth with an RBI single.
- PC is now 10-8 in one-run games this season, including 3-2 in one-run contests against Big South foes. The Blue Hose have had at least one game decided by a lone run in five of its six conference series this season.
The two teams will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday with first pitch set for 1 p.m. at the PC Baseball Complex. Sunday's game is designated as Senior Day, as the program will honor its 10 seniors in a pre-game ceremony.