N. CHARLESTON, S.C. – Jordan Tarsovich singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, completing a late rally by the VMI Keydets that propelled them past the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, 4-2, in Big South baseball action Saturday afternoon in North Charleston, S.C. The game was the first game of a doubleheader and the opener of a three-game conference series.
After the Keydets (18-19, 5-5 Big South) had tied the game in the ninth and averted a possible CSU (12-22, 3-7 BSC) rally in the bottom half, Drew Bryan led off the Keydet 10th with a single. Ray Lopez then hit into a fielder’s choice and stole second. Tarsovich followed with a sharp single to left, just in front of left fielder John Faircloth, whose throw home was slightly up the line. Lopez slid to the backstop side of home plate, evading the tag by Buc catcher Drew Woodall and scoring the go-ahead run. Tarsovich took second on the throw home and scored on Cameron Walter’s RBI single, accounting for the final margin, 4-2.
John Garrett got the win and moved to 3-2 on the year after pitching two perfect innings, striking out two. Austin Weekley (1-2) took the loss after allowing both 10th inning runs.
Offensively, the Keydets saw Tarsovich and Rob Dickinson notch three hits apiece, with Dickinson’s three including a home run and tying him with A.J. Yoder ’09 for fourth on the all-time Keydet hit list. In addition, Matt Winn went 1 for 3 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and his run of consecutive games reaching base to 21.
Alex Tomasovich and Robbie Streett had two hits apiece for Charleston Southern.
CSU got on the board in the first against Connor Bach. Kevin Hickey led off with a single and proceeded to advance one base on three wild pitches, thrown over the course of the next two hitters, scoring on the final miscue among the trio to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
The Bucs added on in the second, doing so on a fielder’s choice by Jaren Sustar, but Bach shut the door on the CSU offense thereafter, allowing just five hits over the next seven innings.
The Keydets, however, were equally handcuffed by Tory Schroff of CSU, who did not allow a runner to reach second base over the first six innings. With one out in the seventh, however, the Keydets finally got to Schroff when Dickinson drilled the first pitch over the right field wall for a solo home run, his sixth of the year, pulling VMI to within 2-1.
CSU went to its bullpen in the ninth, calling on Andrew Tomasovich, and the Keydets immediately took advantage. Tarsovich led off with a single, and Connerley put down a bunt down the first base line that the CSU defense tried to allow to roll foul, but the ball stayed fair for a hit to put two runners on. Dickinson then hit a high hopper through the right side, scoring Tarsovich to knot the score at 2 and put runners at second and third with no one out. Weekley relieved and evaded further damage by striking out Winn, getting an infield out from Sheldon Shifflett and, after a walk to Brandon Angus, retiring Nick Dwyer on a line drive to end the inning.
The home team then threatened in the bottom half. Andrew Montague relieved Bach and gave up a leadoff double to Streett before hitting Chase Shelton. Garrett came out of the bullpen to relieve Montague, and Sustar tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt. The CSU third baseman, however, popped out to Ray Lopez for the first out, and Garrett promptly retired Hickey and Bobby Ison to end the inning and set the stage for the deciding 10th inning.
Neither starter figured in the decision, as Bach equaled his career high with eight innings of work. He gave up two runs on eight hits and struck out four. Schroff struck out seven and gave up just one run over his eight innings.