Charleston Southern's Tory Schroff pitched six shutout innings in the opener and closer Austin Weekley recorded a save in both games as the Buccaneers swept a doubleheader from visiting Villanova to open the 2014 season on Saturday at CSU Ballpark. CSU won the opener, 2-0, and rallied for a 2-1 win in the game two.
The Bucs held Villanova to one run and one extra-base hit over 18 innings, while recording 19 strikeouts. The Bucs open the season at 2-0, while the Wildcats are 0-2. CSU will try to make it a weekend sweep tomorrow in the series finale. First pitch is at 1 p.m. at CSU Ballpark.
"Our pitching was the key, no question about it," CSU head coach Stuart Lake said after the wins. "We gave up one run all day against what I think will end up being a very good team. We need another quality start tomorrow out of Andrew (Tomasovich) and we could really have some momentum to start the season."
Game 1 - Charleston Southern 2, Villanova 0
Schroff (WP, 1-0) struck out eight and shutout out the Wildcats in six innings of work to start the Bucs' season off on a high note with a 2-0 win.
On a cold, blustery afternoon, the Bucs' senior ace came up one strikeout shy of his career-high nine before making an exit with a 1-0 lead. He walked two and scattered three singles.
"He made us feel good about ourselves," Lake said. "He came out and allowed us to calm down and settle into the game after some opening day nerves. Their pitcher did the same thing in the second game."
Freshman Andrew Locklear worked a scoreless seventh and eighth in relief, before Weekley picked up the save with a strikeout and a walk in the ninth.
The top three spots in Bucs' lineup gave the CSU pitching staff enough run support on a tough day to score. Bobby Ison and Chase Shelton each had two hits, while Alex Tomasovich added an RBI single as the Bucs' first three batters combined for five hits.
Shortstop Kevin Hickey added two hits and an RBI single to score catcher Sam Remick for the Bucs' first run. Ison's second single of the game to lead off the sixth would become the Bucs' second run, scoring on a Tomasovich double into the right field corner.
Game 2 - Charleston Southern 2, Villanova 1
In his first career appearance, freshman Tyler Weekley pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings out of the Bucs' bullpen to grab his first career win and brother Austin Weekley pitched out of a ninth-inning jam for his second save of the day to lift the Bucs' in the nightcap, 2-1.
Tyler Weekley (WP, 1-0) struck out four and recorded a slew of pop-outs before allowing two runners in the ninth. A Weekley would come on to strike out Mike Mecca and get a ground out from Donovan May to secure the win. Lake liked what he saw out of Austin Weekley his bullpen, especially two Bucs playing their first collegiate game.
"Very proud of Weekley today; both of them," Lake said. "Austin came in and pitched us out of a tough spot in the second game. Tyler gave us something to be excited about as well. Two freshmen came in and really showed something today, Locklear in the first game pitched well."
CSU rallied from a 1-0 deficit after Villanova took a brief 1-0 lead in the third. Bucs' starter Levi Mauldin gave up a leadoff double to May leading to the Wildcats' only run of the day. Mauldin scattered seven hits in 4 1/3 innings and struck out three.
The Buccaneers tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the third as freshman Nate Blanchard singled and moved up on a wild pitch and a sacrifice bunt from Ison. Tomasovich delivered his second RBI of the day, plating Blanchard on an error by Cats' shortstop Eric Lowe.
Ison would take over in the eighth to give the Bucs for the first time in the game. He reached with a leadoff single and stole second to move into scoring position with the go-ahead run. Ison would take third on a groundout by Shelton and come around to score on two-out single by Nick Berry to right field.
Ison led all players with three hits on the day. He was 3-for-6 with four stolen bases and two runs scored on the day.