Citadel wins big in season opener
Charleston, S.C. - Joe Jackson got The Citadel off and running with a two-run homer in the first and drove in five runs on the day while Austin Pritcher worked six shutout innings in a 9-1 victory over George Mason to wrap up the first day of the Homewood Suites Tournament presented by Charleston Crab House.
Kansas State downed High Point 5-1 in the opening game of the tournament. The Bulldogs will face the Wildcats of the Big 12 on Saturday at 2 p.m., a change from the original 4 p.m. start time due to the threat of inclement weather later in the day. High Point takes on George Mason at 10:30 a.m.
Jackson, beginning his junior year as The Citadel catcher, established a personal high with his five RBI and matched his career best with four hits, adding a double and two singles to round out his big day. His first inning shot was his second career home run and gave Pritcher and the Bulldogs all the runs they would need.
The senior right hander worked the first six innings, giving up only four hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts. He worked around a leadoff walk to start the game and a first and third, nobody out situation in the second to extend his consecutive streak of not allowing an earned run at Riley Park to 32.1 innings.
The Citadel added to its lead against George Mason starter Anthony Montefusco in the second, using four hits including back-to-back RBI doubles by Mason Davis and Drew DeKerlegand and a run-scoring single by Jackson to build a 5-0 advantage.
Davis had two hits, swiped a pair of bases and scored three times for The Citadel. Hughston Armstrong also had two hits while DeKerlegand scored twice.
The Bulldogs tacked on a run in the fourth on Jackson's RBI double and added two more in the sixth without the benefit of a base hit. The Patriots committed three errors in the frame, and Bo Thompson had a sacrifice fly.
Pritcher, meanwhile, calmed down after allowing the leadoff batter to reach base in each of the first three innings. Right fielder Tyler Griffin kept the shutout alive when he gunned down Jordan Hill trying to score from third on a fly out in the third, and Pritcher proceeded to allow only two base runners over his final three innings.
George Mason reached relief pitcher Logan Cribb for a run in the seventh before the trio of Zach Sherrill, David Rivera and Skylar Hunter finished the combined seven-hitter to give The Citadel its second win in as many all-time meetings with George Mason.
Sophomore left hander James Reeves (6-4, 4.44 ERA in 2012) will take the mound for the Bulldogs on Saturday against Kansas State southpaw Joe Flattery (6-4, 4.37). The game can be seen on Bulldog Insider by going to www.CitadelSports.com.