CLINTON, S.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team (27-28, 12-12 Big South) fell to Charleston Southern (19-34, 6-18 Big South), 9-4, in the final game of the regular season for both teams. The Blue Hose will open play in the Big South Tournament on Tuesday.
Tyler Weyenberg and TJ Richardson each went 3-for-4 at the plate to led PC with Weyenberg driving in a run and Richardson scoring twice. The three hits were a career high for Richardson, playing in just his seventh game of the season. Cletis Avery and Glen Casaceli each had a two-hit day, while eight of the nine batters in the starting lineup had a hit to total 14 as a team.
Chayce Hubbard (1-2) earned the victory with 1.0 perfect inning of relief work with a pair of strikeouts. Cole Norwood (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on no hits with two walks and a hit batsman while not recording an out. Cody Smith earned a save, throwing 2.0 perfect innings with a strikeout.
PC starter David Sauer got a no-decision, allowing four runs on five hits with two walks and one strikeout in 5.0 innings of work. CSU starter Jon Piriz received a no-decision as well, allowing four runs (three earned) on 12 hits with no walks and three strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.
The two teams went back-and-forth through the first five innings of the game. PC got the scoring started with a lone run in the first. Weyenberg singled to lead off the game and Avery followed with a double to put runners at second and third with no outs. Back-to-back fielder’s choices recorded a pair of outs without runs coming across, putting runners on the corners with two outs. Jacob Midkiff came through with a two-out, RBI single to left to score Avery and give PC the 1-0 lead.
CSU tied it with a run in the second. Bryan Dye doubled to start the inning and a fly out to center moved him to third with one out. Jack Crittenberger then singled up the middle to score him and tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom half, Richardson led off the inning with a single to left and Brett Auckland moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. A single by Casceli put runners on the corners for Weyenberg, who singled through the left side to score Richardson and make it 2-1 in favor of PC.
The Buc re-tied the game with a lone run in the third. Nate Blanchard singled through the right side to led off the frame, before moving to second on a sac bunt and then third on a groundout. He would come across a few pitches later on a wild pitch to even the game at 2-2.
PC pulled back in front with a run in the fourth. The Blue Hose put runners on first and second with two outs after a one-out single by Richardson and a two-out single by Casaceli. Weyenberg then legged out a bunt single, before an errant throw to first allowed Richardson to come across and make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Charleston Southern took its first lead of the series with a pair of runs in the fifth. With the bases loaded and one out, Sly Edwards hit a fielder’s choice to third but the runner from third was able to beat the throw home to tie game at 3-3 with the bases still loaded. Kevin Hickey then hit in to a fielder’s choice to drive in the run from third and make it a 4-3 CSU lead.
In the bottom half, Jackson and AJ Priaulx singled back-to-back to start the inning and put runners on first and third with no outs. After a pop out, Nick Wise brought home Jackson with an RBI groundout to second to even the score at 4-4.
The Bucs would pull away with three runs in the eighth and two runs in the ninth. A wild pitch and a passed ball with the bases loaded each plated one in the eighth, before an RBI single by Cole Murphy drove in a third to make it a 7-4 lead. In the ninth, a two-RBI single to right by Crittenberger push the advantage to 9-4.
Crittenberger finished with a 3-for-4 day at the plate with three RBIs to lead the Bucs. Brandon Burris went 2-for-3, while Edwards, Hickey and Dye each scored twice in the win.
With the three hits in the game, Weyenberg finishes the regular season with 80 hits, which ranks second in a season in PC’s Division I history.
PC finishes the regular season with a 27-28 record to match last season’s squad. The Blue Hose also finish with a Division I era 12 Big South victories, a six-game improvement from the 2015 season.
The team will make its first ever Big South Tournament appearance beginning on Tuesday in Lexington, S.C.