CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel exploded for five runs in the bottom of the seventh Friday to capture a 7-5 victory in a Southern Conference series opener Friday at Riley Park.
With the loss, UNCG (21-25, 8-14 SoCon) cannot finish any higher than seventh in the league standings and will compete in a play in game when the SoCon Baseball Championship begins Tuesday at Riley Park. The Bulldogs (21-32, 6-18 SoCon) won just their sixth conference game of the season.
Sophomore Ryan Clark (Johnson City, N.Y./Johnson City) took the loss for the Spartans after allowing six runs (five earned) on 11 hits in six innings pitched. He walked a batter while striking out four. Zach Lavery picked up the win in relief, tossing an inning and allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits.
Juniors Hunter King (Mason City, Iowa/Northern Iowa Area CC) and Jordan McDonald (Perth, Australia) each tallied two hits for UNCG with McDonald also scoring two runs. Hughston Armstrong paced the Bulldog offense, going 4-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI.
The Spartans built a 2-0 lead through four innings, thanks in part to a solo home run by McDonald, before the Bulldogs rallied for two runs in the bottom of the fifth to knot the score. UNCG went back in front in the top of the seventh, plating two runs on a RBI double by King and a Citadel throwing error.
That lead would not last long though as the Bulldogs answered with five runs on seven hits in the bottom of the frame. The big blow came off the bat of Tyler Griffin – a three-run bomb that gave The Citadel the lead for good. A sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning closed the scoring.
UNCG will wrap up the regular season with a doubleheader against The Citadel tomorrow beginning at noon inside Riley Park.