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Colonels pick up first win, drop series finale

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Eastern Kentucky University’s baseball team picked up its first win of the season, beating Charleston Southern 5-1 in game two of the series. The Buccaneers held off a Colonel rally to take the series finale 6-5.

Before game two of the series was postponed on Saturday after five innings, the Colonels had a 2-1 lead. With one out in the third inning, Austin Grisham singled to left. The senior then stole second base, and after a walk by Demetrius Moorer, Grisham swiped third. Shaun Ball struck out swinging for the second out, but the ball got away, allowing Grisham to score the game’s first run. Bryan Soloman followed with a single up the middle to score Moorer from second and give the Colonels a 2-0 advantage.

Charleston Southern got on the board in the bottom of the fourth. After a one-out double, Drew Woodall singled to center to make it a 2-1 game.

Before the game was stopped, Eastern starter Shane Grimm (1-0) tossed five innings in his season debut. The senior allowed one earned run on five hits and struck out two.

When play resumed on Sunday, the Colonels added to their lead in the eighth. Freshman Kyle Nowlin walked and stole second to lead off the inning. Two batters later Doug Teegarden drew a walk and Nowlin stole third. Teegarden stole second before pinch hitter Luke Wurzelbacher made his second appearance of the season. The freshman drove a pitch down the left field line for a two-run double, his first collegiate hit. With two outs, Moorer singled through the left side to cap the three-run inning and give Eastern a 5-1 lead.

Sophomore Ben Gullo pitched four innings of scoreless relief. He allowed one hit and struck out two on his way to earning his first career save. Seven different Colonels finished with one hit each.

In the series finale, Eastern grabbed the lead in the top of the second. After a lead-off double by Nowlin, Alex Hughes drove him in with a single up the middle. Two batters later, a sacrifice fly by Wurzelbacher made it 2-0.

Charleston Southern answered in the bottom half of the inning with four runs. Back-to-back RBI singles by Bobby Ison and Jaren Sustar capped the big inning for the home team. The Buccaneers added two more in the fifth. John Faircloth drove in a run with a single to center and then later scored on a wild pitch.

The Colonels attempted to rally in the sixth. The first three batters each drew walks to load the bases. Moorer’s infield single scored one. Soloman’s ground out pushed across another. Ball got EKU to within a run, 6-5, with an RBI single through the left side.

Eastern got the tying run to second base with one out in the seventh, but could not get the runner home.

Ball went 2-for-3 with a run driven in. Moorer finished 2-for-4 with an RBI. Sean Hagen also had two hits. Brent Cobb (0-1) started and allowed five earned runs on six hits in four and one-third innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Ison finished 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI for Charleston Southern.

The Colonels will be back in action on Wednesday at No. 4 Louisville. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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