Charleston Southern held off a Radford rally and pounded out 14 hits to take the opener of the two team's Big South doubleheader, 8-7, on Saturday at Radford Stadium. RU rallied from a late deficit to score the final six runs and win game two, 8-3.
The split moves the Bucs to 9-11 in Big South play and 20-29 overall. Radford falls to 29-20 and 13-7 in league play. Sunday's single game is scheduled for 2 p.m.
The doubleheader took nine hours and included a lightning delay and a two-hour delay in between games for storms in the area. The nightcap started around 8:30 p.m.
Game 1 – Charleston Southern 8, Radford 7
Charleston Southern's Bobby Ison went 3-for-3 and John Faircloth hit a two-run homer as the Bucs held off Radford for an 8-7 win in a lightning-delayed opener of their Big South Conference series at Radford Stadium.
The game was halted with one out and two strikes to Radford's Alexander Lee in the bottom of the ninth for lightning. After the mandatory 30-minute delay, CSU closerAustin Weekley struck out Lee and catcher Drew Woodall caught Zach Woolcock trying to steal second to end the 4-hour, 22-minute game.
The Bucs offense was the story throughout as they erupted for 14 hits and answered Radford's three-run sixth inning with three in their next at-bat to stay in the lead. CSU never trailed after taking a 5-0 lead in the fifth.
The Bucs led 8-4 in the seventh when Radford rallied again. Back-to-back doubles from Josh Reavis and Patrick Marshall, along with an RBI single from Woolcock cut the lead to 8-6, but closed out the seventh and eighth with ground-ball outs to get the Bucs to the ninth with a lead.
Ison had hits in his first three at-bats and added two sacrifice bunts to set up runs in his final two plate appearances. He got the Bucs started with an infield single in the fourth and scored on Faircloth's blast to right off of Highlanders' starter Tyler Costello (LP, 5-4) to give CSU a 2-0 lead.
The Bucs added a third run in the as Ison tripled home Jaren Sustar, who singled earlier in the inning. CSU extended its lead to 5-0 in the sixth as Woodall delivered a two-run double to the opposite field to score Alex Tomasovich and Zack Hagaman, who led off the inning with back-to-back singles.
Radford plated three runs in the sixth on a two-run double by Ryan Burgess and an RBI single by Woolcock to cut the lead to 5-4, but CSU answered back to rebuild its lead.
The Bucs scored three times in the seventh as Hagaman, Shelton, and Faircloth strung together RBI singles to build the lead back out to 8-4. Faircloth picked up his third RBI of the day and Tomasovich walked and scored for the second time as CSU put together another big inning.
Radford cut the lead to one in the eight on an RBI double by Shane Johnsonbaugh, but reliever Joe Pistacchio worked out of the jam, stranding Johnsonbaugh on second representing the tying run.
Faircloth finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs and his first home run of the season.
CSU outhit Radford, 14-13. Sustar, Hagaman, and Shelton all added two hits in the win, while Tomasovich was 1-for-3, but walked twice and scored twice.
Woolcock went 4-for-5 and scored twice to lead Radford.
CSU starter Ryan Gunther (WP, 6-4) worked 5.1 innings and allowed four runs, while striking out four.
Weekley (S,8) picked up his eighth save. He entered the game tied for fifth in the Big South in the category.
Game 2 – Radford 8, Charleston Southern 3
Radford spoiled a career-high nine strikeouts from Bucs' starter Tory Schroff (LP, 6-3) with six runs in its final two at-bats to win the nightcap, 8-3.
The Highlanders scored four times in the eighth, scoring on an RBI single by Woolcock and taking advantage of a CSU error. Shortstop Chris Coia had a bunt single to get the inning rolling for RU. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.
CSU jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the first as Ison roped a leadoff double into left field corner and Faircloth reached on an error trying to move Ison up a base. Hagaman would drive home Faircloth to make it 2-0 on an RBI ground out to first.
CSU took the lead briefly in the sixth as Woodall walked and scored on a Sustar sacrifice fly. Streett had a double in the inning to move Woodall up.
Ison and Tomasovich each had two hits for the Bucs.
Schroff left in the seventh with a 3-2 lead, but the Bucs' couldn't hold the lead. CSU made an error and Radford scored on a squeeze play to spoil Schroff's start.