CHARLESTON, S.C. – Trailing 7-2 with two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the ninth, The Citadel sent nine batters to the plate and scored six runs to stun UNCG, 8-7, in the series finale at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park on Sunday afternoon in Southern Conference action.
The Citadel (16-21, 7-8 SoCon) became the first team to sweep UNCG in a three-game series since Furman accomplished the feat on May 20-22, 2010.
The Spartans plated two more runs in the fifth to stretch their lead to three, 3-0. With runners on second and third, Richards lofted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Cole Harrison. Following an intentional walk to Trevor Edwards, Lloyd Enzor continued to torture the Bulldogs' pitching staff as he roped an RBI single to right field to chase The Citadel's starter, Logan Cribb.
The Citadel would tally a run in the bottom of the frame after Nick Orvin collected his first of three hits on the day in the form of an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game. Orvin would finish the game 3-for-5 with an RBI.
The Spartans duplicated themselves by scoring two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to make it 5-1. Zach Leach extended his hitting streak to 10 games by delivering an RBI single to center to score Tino Leite. Senior Bobby Martin chipped in with an RBI single of his own as he ripped the third pitch he saw from Ross White up the middle to score Leach.
For the second consecutive inning, the Bulldogs scored a single run, this time as Calvin Orth collected the RBI thanks to a sacrifice fly to make it a 5-2 game after six innings of play.
UNCG added two more runs in the top half of the eighth inning as Ryan Hines uncorked a wild pitch allowing Leach to score. The next batter, Enzor, dug in and collected another RBI thanks to a groundout that scored Martin from third, giving the Spartans what seemed like a comfortable 7-2 lead.
After retiring the first two batters with ease in the bottom of the ninth, UNCG reliever Dylan Hathcock allowed three consecutive hits as Ryne Hardwick started the rally with a double down the left field line. Orvin followed suit with a single and Mason Davis hit a double to chase Hathcock and bringing the Bulldogs within four, 7-3.
With runners on second and third, the Spartans' Brennen James issued a five-pitch walk to Justin Mackert to load the bases. The Citadel's Joe Jackson reached on an error as the second run of the inning touched home making it a 7-4 game. James was unable to recover as he walked the next two batters as the UNCG deficit was cut to one, 7-6.
The Spartans would go to their bullpen for the second time in the inning in the form of Zach Furl, but Orth reached on a fielding error, which allowed the tying run to cross the plate. The Bulldogs' Johnathan Stokes, who entered the game in the seventh inning, stepped up to bat for the second time in the inning and tomahawked a pitch over the outreached glove of Leach for the walk-off single in a wild ninth inning as The Citadel secured the victory and sweep.
UNCG starter Max Povse proved to be effective as he allowed two runs on four hits while walking three in 5 2/3 innings of work.
James (1-2) took the loss as he failed to record an out and allowed three runs (all unearned) on three walks.
The Bulldogs' Bryce Hines (1-3) picked up the win as he pitched a scoreless ninth although he loaded the bases before getting a flyout to end the threat.
With a single in the sixth inning, Richards extended his hitting streak to a team-best 11 games as he went 1-for-2 with two walks and scored a run. All but one starter collected a hit for UNCG.
Both teams committed four errors in the game and UNCG stranded 15 runners on the day while The Citadel left 10 men on base.
UNCG will look to bounce back as it hosts Wake Forest on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. at UNCG Baseball Stadium.
The Citadel 8, UNCG 7 (Apr 15, 2012 at Charleston, S.C.)
UNCG................ 000 122 020 - 7 11 4 (18-16, 4-11)
The Citadel......... 000 011 006 - 8 10 4 (16-21, 7-8)
Pitchers: UNCG - Max Povse; Dylan Hathcock(6); Brennen James(9); Zach Furl(9) and Trevor Edwards. The Citadel - Logan Cribb; TJ Clarkson(5); Ross White(6); Brett Tompkins(6); Ryan Hines(8);
Bryce Hines(9) and Joe Jackson.
Win-Bryce Hines(1-3) Loss-Brennen James(1-2) T-3:40 A-242
Weather: 75 degrees and partly cloudy
James faced 4 batters in the 9th.
Furl faced 2 batters in the 9th.
- UNCG -