Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Citadel upsets ECU


Greenville, N.C. – Senior Justin Smith posted a strong outing for his sixth win of the year as sophomore Sonny Meade knocked in three to help lead The Citadel past No. 30 East Carolina, 8-6, in non-conference baseball action at Clark-LeClair stadium Tuesday night. The Bulldogs earned their second win over a ranked opponent this season after upsetting No. 1 South Carolina, 7-6, on Feb. 18 at Riley Park.

The Bulldogs improve to 26-21 on the year while the Pirates fall to 32-16. Senior Chance Smith and freshman Richard Jones paced the Dogs at the plate as they registered three hits each. Jones was only a triple shy of the cycle as he smashed his ninth home run of the season to give The Citadel an early lead in the first. Senior right fielder Joe Hoerter registered his first career hit with an RBI-single in the seventh as he made his first career start in the contest.

Ryan Wood had his first two home run outing and drove in four of ECU’s six runs. Wood was 4-for-5 on the night. The Citadel enjoyed 15 hits to the Pirates’ nine.

Justin Smith (6-3) enjoyed his longest outing since going seven against Columbia on March 11. The right-hander tossed 6.0 innings, holding the Pirates to only two runs on six hits while fanning four and walking three. Josh Ruhlman (4-1) suffered his first loss of the year as he went 3.2 frames, giving up six runs (four earned) on seven hits while striking out three.

The Citadel attacked first as Jones blasted his second home run in as many games to give the Dogs a 1-0 advantage in the second. The Bulldogs got two on in the third courtesy of consecutive, one-out singles by sophomore designated hitter Sonny Meade and senior first baseman Zach Brown. Pirate starter Mike Anderson was then lifted for left-hander Josh Ruhlman who forced a strikeout and a fly out to end the frame.

East Carolina went ahead with a two-out, two-run shot in the third as Wood enjoyed his fourth round-tripper of the season. Ryan Tousley followed that up with a bunt single and tried to score on a single to right off the bat of Stephen Batts but was gunned down at the plate by Hoerter to end the inning.

The Bulldogs evened it up in the fourth on an RBI-single off the bat of Chance Smith and then recaptured the lead with two runs in the fifth. A throwing error by Pirate first baseman Batts allowed junior left fielder Chris Swauger to race all the way to second to start things off. Swauger took third on a passed ball and came in to score on a groundout by Meade. Brown and Jones smacked back-to-back base hits, while Brown moved to second on another throwing error. Freshman second baseman Bryan Altman then knocked in Brown on a fielder’s choice.

Meade extended The Citadel advantage to four in the sixth as he punched one through the right side to plate two with two outs. Two RBI-singles by freshman shortstop Kyle Jordan and Hoerter gave the Dogs two more in the seventh to make it 8-2.

Wood notched his second home run of the contest in the seventh to add a run for the Pirates before ECU was able to pull within two with three runs in the eighth. The Bulldogs walked the bases loaded before a wild pitch allowed the first run to score. An RBI-groundout by Jamie Ray made it 8-5 before Wood drove in his fourth run of the evening with a base hit through the left side. The Dogs then called on freshman lefty Nick Sprowls to force the final out and get The Citadel out of the inning still up by two.

Altman extended his hitting streak to 11 games in the ninth with a one-out, ground-rule double that bounced over the left center field wall. He was the only runner aboard for the Dogs that inning as Jason Neitz took to the hill and caught two Bulldogs swinging.

Sprowls returned in the ninth to get two quick outs before surrendering a two-bagger that was just fair down the left field line. The freshman then forced pinch-hitter David Forbes to go down on strikes to earn his second save of the year and preserve the 8-6 victory.

The Bulldogs are now 2-4 versus ranked opponents in 2007 while the contest with the Pirates was the first time the Dogs faced a nationally ranked foe on the road. The Citadel will now go to Columbia, S.C. to take on No. 7 South Carolina on May 9 at Sarge Frye Field. First pitch is slated for 8 p.m.

ECU Recap

No comments: