Wofford Corner 5-14
It has been a couple of weeks since our last Wofford Baseball corner. 2 weeks ago, the Terriers had themselves in the top 25 in all 3 Division 1 polls and an RPI in the top 15. Things have changed as you might expect, but not quite in the way you would expect.
After dropping ther series finale to Mercer and a midweek game against a resurgent Clemson team 17-4, the Terriers got back into Southern Conference play with a road trip down to Samford, hoping not to fall into a late-season slump. Unfortunately, that is exactly what ended up happening. On the flipside, it was a very short-lived slump.
To their credit, Samford is actually a decent team. They are currently tied with Mercer for 2nd in the SoCon standings with a conference record of 9-6 and a 23-23 overall record. That overall record doesn’t speak to the strength of their schedule. But, nonetheless, Wofford entered the series with expectations of taking care of business and fell short, dropping the first 2 games for their first series loss of the season. Samford held the potent Terrier offense to just 7 runs in those 2 games while Wofford uncharacteristically surrendered 4 unearned runs on 5 errors and could not get big clutch hits when they had their chances.
The slump did not last long as the Terriers snapped the 4 game losing skid in the series finale in big fashion. Wofford salvaged the finale 16-6 in 8 innings, which sparked a 6 game win streak that the Terriers are looking to continue this weekend.
Wofford made the short trip to UNC Asheville Wednesday of last week, and, no pun intended, once again were in a dog fight. The Bulldogs jumped ahead 7-4 in the 4th inning. But, if there is one thing about this Wofford team we have come to learn, it is to never count them out. They don’t play from behind often, but when they do, they rise to the challenge. They did it against Presbyterian a few weeks ago. They did it this past weekend against the Citadel twice (more on that in a sec). This was no different. The Terriers rallied with a 7 spot in the top of the 5th to take the lead 8-7 and they did not look back. Instead, they added on with another 7 runs in the top of the 6th inning. Wofford went on to win in 7 innings 18-7.
This past weekend, the Terriers hosted the Citadel at The Railyard (my new nickname for Russell C King Field since it notoriously has a busy freight train yard/depot across the street from the outfield) looking to jump back to the top of the SoCon standings. Things didn’t get off to the best start in the opening game of the series with the Citadel jumping in front 2-0 in the top of the 2nd. They added on with a 3 run homer in the 3rd. Despite Matthew Marchal’s struggle on the mound and the Terrier bats’ slow start, they still kept themselves in the game.
They chipped away with single runs in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. After a scoreless 6th, Wofford scratch across the tying run on a pinch hit RBI double from Gunnar Johnson that plated Jack Renwick. The Citadel retook the lead almost immediately afterwards with a leadoff triple off the fence in center and a throwing error on Marshall Toole that led to a “Little league home run”. No further damage was done and it set the stage for 2 big moments in the bottom of the 8th.
Brice Martinez crushed a high screaming line drive that went into the trees outside the left field fence for a leadoff homer to tie it. Then, after a 2 out single from Lawson Hill, Ryan Galanie blasted a no counter to straightaway center with the win blowing in to take the lead 8-6. From there, Dalton Rhadans got the win on the mound by holding the Bulldogs to a 0 in the top of the 9th.
The Terriers ended up having to play a double header sunday due to weather to wrap up the series. They took the series with an 11-1 win in game one and completed the sweep with a 6-5 W in game 2. In game 2, it was back and forth with the Terriers working out of several tough jams including a 2nd and 3rd with nobody out jam that Holden Wilder worked out of with a strikeout-throw out double play and a K that kept the Terriers in it.
Down 4-3 in the 7th, Ryan Galanie delivered another huge homer with 1 out to left center to tie the game. After a Jack Renwick single, Trey Yunger tripled him home to give Wofford the lead. Zeb Roos hit a sac fly to score Yunger to make it 6-4. The Citadel plated 1 in the top of the 9th, but Dalton Rhadans managed to close it out for his 7th win of the season.
In midweek this last Wednesday night, the Terriers took on Presbyterian and absolutely dominated them from the beginning. Wofford struck for 4 runs in the 1st, 2 in the 3rd, 8 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th, and a 6 spot in the 6th en route to a shortened game with a football score. 21-2 in 7. Ryan Galanie had 8 RBIs on the night, including a 3 run homer, a grand slam, and an RBI single. Lawson Hill was even called on to pitch a third of an inning. Yep. A catcher pitching. He struck out one and walked one.
The Terriers host Western Carolina this weekend in their penultimate SoCon series of the season. They took the opener 15-4. With Mercer’s loss Friday, the Samford Bulldogs took over 2nd in the standings. The Terriers need just 3 more conference Ws to clinch