NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team needed every bit of offense it could muster on Friday night, holding of Charleston Southern, 11-10, in a game that featured a combined 33 hits and five home runs at the CSU Ballpark. PC improved to 25-25 overall and 12-7 in the Big South, while CSU dropped 21-24 overall and 9-13 in the Big South.
How It Happened
The Blue Hose got off to a fast start with two runs in the first inning. Glen Casaceli singled up the middle to lead off the game. Brett Auckland then followed with a two-run home run to right center, his fifth of the season, to give PC a 2-0 lead.
PC added to it with two runs in the top half of the third, before CSU matched it with two runs in the bottom half. TJ Richardson led off the inning with a double down the left field line and two batters later, Connor Slagill hit his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to left, to give PC a 4-0 lead. In the bottom half, Alex Andronica and Aaron Miller hit solo home runs to get the Bucs' their first two runs of the game, cutting the lead to 4-2.
Presbyterian got a lone run in the fifth to make it a 5-2 lead. Auckland led off the inning with a single up the middle. After a strikeout and a flyout, Auckland stole second to move in to scoring position for Slagill, who doubled to left center to score him.
The offenses on both sides exploded in the latter stages of the game, scoring in five consecutive half innings from the bottom of the sixth through the bottom of the eighth. In the CSU sixth, a Cole German sac fly and an RBI single by Nate Blanchard brought home two and make it a one-run game at 5-4. PC answered with a four-run seventh, getting an RBI single by Slagill, a sac fly by Nick Guimbarda and a RBI triple by Jack McLaughlin, who then scored on an error on the play to make it a 9-4 lead.
CSU responded with a lone run in the seventh, coming on a solo home run by Brandon Gragilla to make it a 9-5 game. PC tacked on what proved to be two decisive runs in the eighth. RBI singles by Richardson and AJ Priaulx brought home Weyenberg and Casaceli to push the advantage to 11-5. The Bucs pulled within a run though, having five cross the plate in the bottom half of the eighth on a pair of RBI doubles, an RBI single, a sac fly and a wild pitch. Ryan Hedrick then closed out the game with his ninth save of the season, working around a leadoff single and a two-out walk in the ninth.
Pitchers of Record
Eric Miles (6-1) earned the win in relief for PC, allowing two runs on five hits with three punchouts against no walks in 3.0 innings out of the bullpen.
CSU starter Tyler Weekly (3-4) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on five hits in 2.1 innings pitched with one walk and one strikeout.
Ryan Hedrick picked up his conference-leading ninth save of the season, allowing two hits and a walk against a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings of action.
Player of the Game
Connor Slagill continued his hot hitting with another big night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs and four RBIs. The four-RBI game was his second of the season, the only PC player this season to record more than one. The long ball also puts him in a tie for the team lead at five with Auckland and Priaulx. The righty once again raised his batting average, this time to .296 on the year.
- With the victory, PC ties its school record for Big South victories with 12, set last season. The Blue Hose have matched the total this season with still five games against Big South competition on the docket.
- TJ Richardson also continued his red hot hitting with a 2-for-5 night with a double, a run and an RBI. The righty has now recorded at least two hits in each of his last seven games.
- Glen Casaceli and Brett Auckland each had a three-hit game, batting one and two in the order, respectively. Casaceli was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs, while Auckland was 3-for-5 with a homer, three runs and two RBIs.
- PC is now 12-10 in one-run games this season and 17-14 in all games decided by three runs or less.
The Blue Hose and Buccaneers return to action on Saturday in game two of the series, which has moved up to a noon first pitch to avoid potential inclement weather later in the day.