Buffs baseball opens 2022 with series win over USCB

Published 11:35 pm Saturday, January 29, 2022

CONTRIBUTED BY MILLIGAN ATHLETICS
HARDEEVILLE, S.C. (January 28, 2022) – The Milligan University baseball team split a pair of seven-inning games with the University of South Carolina Beaufort to secure a series win in the Buffs’ season-opening weekend on Saturday.
The series was the first of the year for both teams as Milligan exits 3-1 and USCB sits at 1-3.
Game 1 – USCB 5, Milligan 4
USCB scored the first run of Saturday’s doubleheader on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the third inning, but a three-run home run down the left-field line by Chancery Hall in the top of the fourth gave Milligan a 3-1 edge.
Starting pitcher Gaven Jones limited the Sand Sharks to three hits and one run in four innings of work and exited with a 3-1 lead. USCB evened the score at three in the bottom of the fifth thanks to a pair of walks, an error and a two-out RBI single.
The Buffs had a shot to retake the lead in the top of the sixth. Hall walked and made his way to third with no outs after an errant pickoff throw and a wild pitch.
With one out, Jones skied a ball into shallow right field. Hall attempted to tag up and score but was thrown out in a play at the plate to keep the score 3-3 heading into the home half of the sixth.
Garrett Bowman worked a scoreless sixth inning with two strikeouts to send the game to the seventh tied at three.
After two quick outs in the top of the seventh, Brandon Marello reached base with a bunt single down the first base line. Anthony Guzman was hit by a pitch and Justin Greene scored Marello with a base hit through the right side to give the Buffs a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, USCB put runners on second and third with nobody out after a single, walk, and a double steal. A sacrifice fly brought home the tying run and the winning run for the Sand Sharks came home on a wild pitch.
Hall and Greene both had two hits and drove in all four of the Buffs’ runs in game one.
Game 2 – Milligan 4, USCB 1
The Buffs turned to Marello as their starting pitcher for the final game of the weekend series. The junior stranded USCB runners on first and third in the first inning and ended the third with a strikeout with a baserunner on third base.
A two-out double by Hall in the fourth inning was followed by an RBI single by Andrew Mathias to give Milligan a 1-0 lead.
After a Jones walk, a wild pitch put Mathias on third base. Mathias snuck home for the game’s second run while USCB attempted to pick off Jones, who safely made it to second base. 
Cade Davis brought home Jones for the final run of the inning with a line drive into right field to extend the Buffs’ lead to 3-0.
In the sixth, Braden Spano doubled to lead off the inning. Pinch-runner Eric Rigsby advanced to third on a balk and scored on a sac fly by Hall. USCB scored its lone run of the game in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out RBI double.
Marello retired the Sand Sharks in order in the seventh to earn a complete-game victory. He finished the day with 7.0 innings, seven hits, one earned run, one walk and three strikeouts.
The Buffs head to Carson-Newman Tuesday afternoon.

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