Today’s GameWhen: Saturday, 2 p.m.Where: Riley ParkRecords: Citadel (29-21, 16-9 in SoCon); CofC (26-23, 14-10).Radio: WQNT 1450-AMTickets: 953-3647
Citadel second baseman Mason Davis didn’t hit a ball out of the infield Friday afternoon against the College of Charleston.
It didn’t seem to matter for Davis or the Bulldogs. It was small ball at its finest and most effective.
Davis collected three hits and Austin Pritcher threw a complete game to lead the Bulldogs past the College of Charleston, 7-1, before a crowd of 1,176 at Riley Park.
The two teams meet again this afternoon at 2 at Riley Park.
Despite collecting 13 hits against three Cougars pitchers, the Bulldogs (29-21, 16-9 in SoCon) didn’t exactly knock the cover off the ball. Of the 13 hits, just two went for extra bases — doubles from Drew DeKerlegand and Johnathan Stokes — and five hits didn’t make it out of the infield.
“That’s kind of who we are right now,” said Citadel coach Fred Jordan. “Our guys realize that some days we’ve got to play for a run at a time. I was very pleased with our offensive execution. Sometimes it’s more important when you get the hits instead of how hard you hit the ball.”
Davis has been nursing a hand injury and had to shorten up on his swing. It was a strategy that proved to be most effective against the Cougars. Davis took advantage of his speed with two bunt singles and another infield hit in the fifth inning.
“I’ve been having some trouble with my hand and I’ve been working a lot on my bunting,” said Davis, who came into the game hitting .290. “I was trying to get the ball into the alleys and take advantage of my speed. That worked pretty well for me today.”
Pritcher didn’t overpower the Charleston lineup but kept the Cougars off-balance. The former James Island star allowed just six hits, walked one and struck out four batters to collect his seventh win of the season.
“I was moving my fastball in and out and hitting the corners,” Pritcher said. “We went after them. We were attacking most of the game, trying to keep them off balance. We didn’t do anything special.”
The Bulldogs were also solid defensively behind Pritcher, recording three double plays and not making a single error.
“Austin pitched an outstanding ballgame,” Jordan said. “He controlled the leadoff hitter for most of the game and got three double plays from the defense. It was just a well-pitched, well defended ball game on our part.”
It was a frustrating afternoon for the Cougars, especially for starting pitcher Jake Zokan and head coach Monte Lee.
“Their senior threw better than our senior,” Lee said. “They didn’t hit Jake all that hard, but they did get his pitch count up. We gave them a couple of free passes and they took advantage of a couple of our mistakes.”
Brandon Murray scored the only run for the Cougars in the second inning and finished with two hits. Bradley Goodson added two hits and had the only RBI.
The Citadel answered with two runs in the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. After two bunt singles from Davis and Hughston Armstrong, Joe Jackson ripped an RBI single. After a wild pitch advanced Armstrong and Jackson, Armstrong scored on a Bo Thompson’s fielder’s choice.
The Bulldogs added another run in the fourth and broke the game open with four more in the fifth.
Stokes’ two –run double highlighted the fifth inning. An errant throw from Cougars catcher Ryan Welke went over third base on a double steal attempt and two more runs scored to make it 7-1.
“We had the guy out at third and it was just a bad throw,” Lee said. “We’ve got to execute in that situation.”