CHARLESTON, S.C. – The Citadel put together a two-out rally in the bottom of the eighth that ended up in a six-run inning as the Bulldogs rallied to double up Charlotte 8-4 in non-conference baseball action on Wednesday night. The 49ers (2-4) issued five walks in the frame helping The Citadel (4-5) muster their comeback. All eight runs for the Bulldogs would come with two outs.
Hughston Armstrong got things going with a one-out single to center on an 0-2 pitch before Calvin Orth’s groundout to short moved Armstrong to second and put two outs on the board. Clean up man Bo Thompson would work a 3-2 walk to extend the inning. Thompson’s walk would be the first of three-straight issues by the Niners pitching staff before an infield single to short by Johnathan Stokes pushed across the tying run.
With the bases still loaded, Ryan Kilgallen and Bailey Rush would be issued the final two base on balls scoring Tyler Griffin and Drew DeKerlegand with two go-ahead runs to lead 6-4. The final blow came from leadoff man Mason Davis by drilling a two-run double down the left field line accounting for the final 8-4 margin.
Earlier in the fourth, The Citadel got things going with a two-out double to left by Griffin. DeKerlegand followed with a triple to right-center that brought home Griffin with the game’s first run. DeKerlegand would score moments later on Johnathan Stokes’ RBI single to left.
Promptly, the Niners responded with two of their own in the top of the fifth knotting the contest at two apiece. Derek Gallello started the inning with a base hit to left with Logan Sherer following with an infield single to short. Half of Charlotte’s 12 hits on the night would never leave the infield picking up six on the night.
Grant Dunnegan helped the Niners cut the lead in half with his single to left that brought home Gallello. Brad Elwood would get Charlotte even moments later with a sacrifice fly to right that allowed Sherer to score from third.
Charlotte would take the lead an inning later as a Corbin Shive pinch-hit sacrifice-fly to right brought home Zach Jarrett. Jarrett would put together back-to-back one-out singles with Gallello to start the rally. In the seventh, A two-out single to left by Mikal Hill paid dividends as T.J. Nichting came calling after his leadoff single to center. The Niners would hold that 4-2 advantage until The Citadel’s eighth.
“I thought we did a lot of good things tonight, we just couldn’t quite finish it the way we normally do,” remarked Head Coach Loren Hibbs postgame. “We just didn’t execute in that one inning. We just have to continue to make progress individually and when we do that, we’ll make progress as a team.”
Nichting would compile his second-straight three-hit ballgame while Gallello also collected three hits in the loss. Jarrett, along with Brett Lang, would each extend their hit streaks to six while Elwood and Nichting advanced theirs to four and three respectively.
For the third time in six contests, the Niners pounded out 12 hits as a team but have a 1-2 record to show for it. Charlotte out-hit The Citadel 12-7 on Wednesday.
Charlotte will now return home to start a season-high ten-game homestand beginning with a three-game weekend series against Creighton. Friday’s series-opener is slated for 4:00 p.m. with RHP Ryan Butler (1-0, 0.00) getting the nod for the Niners. Butler will be opposite RHP Taylor Elman (0-1, 3.86) for the Blue Jays.
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