CHARLESTON, S.C. – Junior southpaw Jaret Bennett turned-in the Bucs's first complete-game effort Friday night going the distance for his first career shutout as the Charleston Southern baseball team powered past USC Upstate 9-0 for a crucial Big South series-opening win.
Bennett worked around six hits and two walks, but struck out three and got flawless defense behind him including a key 5-4-3 double play in the seventh to preserve the shutout and allow Bennett to cruise through the end.
The Bucs (18-31, 8-14 Big South) also had a big offensive night allowing Bennett to work deep into the game posting nine runs on 14 hits as every starter collected a knock. Ryan Stoudemire delivered a 4-for-4 night with two RBI's and his team-leading 11th home run while both Max Ryerson and Dante Blakeney added two-hit performances.
Blakeney also went yard in the win and had a game-high three RBI's while Stoudemire scored three times and Jason Miller drew two walks.
USC Upstate (22-24, 8-13 Big South) couldn't muster any offense against Bennett Friday night outside of a pair of two-hit nights from Jeff Taylor and Julian Rip.
How They Scored
- Charleston Southern got the offense rolling with a two-run first inning thanks to and RBI single from Max Ryerson and RBI fielder's choice by Dante Blakeney and 2-0 lead.
- The Bucs would only add-on from there scoring one more in the third on Ryerson's second RBI knock of the day and 3-0 advantage.
- CSU then put the game in-hand with runs in four-straight innings to close the night scoring one in the fifth, sixth and eighth with three in the seventh.
- Both Ryan Stoudemire and Dante Blakeney went yard in the win with Stoudemire smacking a two-out laser to right field in the fifth and Blakeney taking the first pitch of the sixth deep into the woods in right field.
- Stoudemire sparked the three-run seventh with a single then steal before Miller walked, Blakeney singled and Kyle Horton capped it with a single of his own.
- Brooks Bryan singled to begin the eighth and Javon Martin followed with a double before Stoudemire's long fly ball to the warning track in left center brought home the ninth and final tally.
News and Notes
- Jaret Bennett tossed his first complete game doing so in shutout fashion for his third win of the season and becoming the first Buccaneer to accomplish both feats this season.
- With his effort Friday night, Bennett also lowered his ERA by nearly 1.5 runs as he faced 34 batters in the win while striking out three and getting immaculate defense in the field.
- Ryan Stoudemire became the second Buccaneer with a four-hit day finishing the night 4-for-4 with 3 RBI's and coming just feet from a two-homer performance. He smacked his team-leading 11th longball in the fifth and came just a triple shy of the cycle.
- Dante Blakeney also homered in the win driving-in a game-high three runs.
- Jason Miller extended his on-base streak with a 1-for-3 night drawing two walks and scoring twice. Miller's streak is now up to 28 games entering the Saturday doubleheader.
- Every starter in the CSU batting order collected a hit Friday night as the Bucs ripped four for extra bases with two homers.
CSU and USC Upstate conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader Saturday as the Bucs can close a series win with a single win and collect their first sweep with a pair of victories. First pitch of the doubleheader is at 12 p.m. from CSU Ballpark.
What They're Saying
"I'm tired, but excited. The offense did their job and I was able to just keep hanging zeros. The defense was also perfect – every ball that seemed like it might drop in, they were there and positioned perfectly. We played clean baseball. I felt a groove there in the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning followed by three runs, then they changed pitchers and I got the feeling the coaches might let me ride it out." – Jaret Bennett on his first career complete game shutout Friday night.
"He threw the ball well from the get-go. He settled-in and had a few innings where he had a low pitch count, so you start to try and do the math so you don't extend Bennett too much. Those short innings gave him the chance to go the distance." – Ward on Bennett's performance Friday.
"He's locked in and seeing the ball well. (Ryan) also did things well from an execution standpoint –that sacrifice fly with a runner on third was huge. He's been doing well in the two-hole and just getting things done." – Ward on Stoudemire's four-hit day.