SAVANNAH, Ga. – After falling behind 6-1 through three innings the Charleston Southern baseball team got 9.1 innings of shutout baseball allowing the offense to score the final six runs and beat Savannah State 7-6 in 12 innings Tuesday night.
CSU (7-15) improved to a perfect 2-0 in extra-inning games in 2019 and were led by multi-hit games from Kyle Horton, Josh Litchfield, Reid Hardwick, Dante Blakeney and Sam Trend-Beacom while Seth Owens tossed a career-high 6.1 shutout innings striking out seven Tigers (2-12-1).
The Bucs strung together a season-high 16 hits in the win while the trio of Owens, Jordan Bridges and RJ Petit provided 9.1 innings of shutout baseball striking out 11 Tiger batters and surrendering just three hits.
In the game-tying ninth inning, Litchfield began the frame with an infield single, then Horton followed with another hit allowing Reid Hardwick to double home both runners. Dante Blakeney – who sent a moon shot over the right field fence in the fourth – tied the game with a single to left field and force extra innings.
In the 12th frame, Ryan Rizk drew a two-out walk and stole second allowing Litchfield to single to right and drive in the game-winning run.
Petit shut the door in the bottom half for his first collegiate win tossing 2.0 scoreless innings striking out a pair and allowing just one hit.
How They Scored
- Savannah State struck first for three runs in the bottom of the first and 3-0 lead. Luis Lamarche singled in a run then Justin Washington drove in two more to get the Savannah State offense ahead early.
- CSU responded with a run in the second to make it 3-1, but another three-run frame in the third gave the Tigers a 6-1 lead.
- Dante Blakeney began the fourth with his second home run of the season cutting the margin to 6-2 before the Bucs scratched across another in the fifth to make it 6-3 through five.
- Seth Owens shut down the opposing lineup with 6.1 scoreless innings allowing the Bucs to score the game-tying run in the ninth.
- Litchfield and Horton each had hits to start the frame. Hardwick doubled down the right field line and advanced to third on the throw representing the tying run.
- Blakeney provided his second RBI of the night with a single to left scoring Hardwick and forcing extras.
- Jordan Bridges and PJ Petit added three more scoreless innings and the CSU offense pushed across the winning run manufacturing the final tally with a two-out rally. Rizk walked then stole second and Litchfield singled him home for the 7-6 lead and final score.
News and Notes
- Five Bucs collected multi-hit days as the team had a season-high 16 in the win.
- CSU moved to 2-0 in extra-inning contests after downing Wofford in the 11th to close February.
- Blakeney blasted his second homerun of 2019 and his sixth RBI with the game-tying hit.
- Owens' 6.1 innings and seven strikeouts were a season and career high shutting down the opposition.
- Hardwick collected a team-best three RBI's while Horton scored twice and the team stole six bases in the win.
What They're Saying
"He's been playing well lately. He's been swinging the bat and showing a really good approach. Several of his hits were with two strikes, which is impressive to see. The moment isn't too big for him, that's for sure." – Head coach Adam Ward on freshman outfielder Kyle Horton's four-hit day.
"Seth's a really competitive guy. Every inning he came back in and kept telling us he wanted to go back out there. You've got to tip your hat to a guy like him who wants to be in the fire and he allowed us to crawl back into the game." – Ward on Owens' performance.
"That's what we've kind of been missing to this point, is someone to shut the door in the final innings. If RJ can throw the ball like that and Jordan Bridges can do his thing – we've got several guys who can throw those late innings. It was nice to see those guys throw the ball well tonight." –Ward on Petit and Bridges to close it out.
CSU returns home Wednesday to host Georgia Southern at CSU Ballpark. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. on ESPN+.