February 14, 2007

The Citadel to Host No. 1 South Carolina, Liberty and Richmond This Weekend in The Crab House Shootout Presented by Trademark Properties

Charleston, S.C.  The Citadel baseball will host the No. 1 team in the nation for the first time in Riley Park when the South Carolina Gamecocks come to Charleston for The Crab House Shootout presented by Trademark Properties.  Other tournament participants include the Liberty Flames and Richmond Spiders as all four teams will play in a round-robin style format this Friday-Sunday, Feb. 16-18 at Riley Park.


South Carolina (3-0) and Liberty (1-2) will kick things off as they face each other at noon on Friday, while The Citadel (2-1) and Richmond (0-0) play at 4 p.m. that same day.  The rest of the tournament schedule is as follows:


Saturday, Feb. 17

No. 1 South Carolina vs. Richmond 11 a.m.

The Citadel vs. Liberty 2:30 p.m.


Sunday, Feb. 18

Richmond vs. Liberty 11 a.m.

The Citadel vs. No. 1 South Carolina 2 p.m.


Tickets can be purchased by calling The Citadel ticket office at (843) 953-7181 or by visiting etix.com.  Fans are also reminded that they can catch all the live action at Riley Park this weekend for every tournament game on Bulldog Insider at CitadelSports.com.


The Citadel versus ranked opponents: The last time The Citadel defeated a ranked opponent was in the 2006 Southern Conference Tournament when the Bulldogs downed No. 25 Elon, 14-11, to advance to the championship game.  The last time The Citadel faced a ranked Gamecock team was on May 9, 2006 as No. 24 South Carolina defeated the Dogs, 12-3, at Riley Park.  The last time the Bulldogs upset a top-10 foe was in last year’s Homewood Suites Shootout when No. 3 Nebraska visited Charleston and lost, 8-5, to the Dogs on Saturday, Feb. 18.


Last Time Out: The Citadel Bulldogs won their first series of 2007 as they took two of three from East Tennessee State at Riley Park last weekend.  The Bulldogs had a .338 batting average over the three-game set as they pounded out 45 hits, while their pitching staff only allowed two walks in 31.0 innings of work. 


The Citadel had a decisive 13-6 victory on Saturday, belting out 14 hits while catcher Sid Fallaw notched a career-high five RBI.  ETSU evened the series at one apiece on Saturday with a 5-3 win in extra frames.  The Dogs came from behind to tie it up at three in the ninth, but allowed the Bucs a two-run advantage after 13 innings of play. 


The Bulldogs returned Sunday to hammer out 15 hits en route to an 11-4 victory.  Citadel right-hander Justin Smith earned a career-high 11 strikeouts in eight innings of work while only allowing two earned runs on nine hits and not giving up a single walk.  Four Bulldogs notched a home run in the series while senior first baseman Zach Brown blasted two in the Dogs' opening weekend.  The Dogs had a total of 45 hits in three days including a cumulative .519 slugging percentage. 


The Diamond Dogs are coming off of their sixth consecutive series win dating back to 2006.  The Citadel is currently in the midst of winning nine straight home series. 


The Citadel versus Richmond: The Citadel will face the Richmond Spiders for their first game of the tournament on Friday, Feb. 16 at 4 p.m.  Friday will mark the 21st meeting between the Bulldogs and Spiders with The Citadel holding a 19-11 advantage.  The two teams met last year in the Homewood Suites Shootout where the Dogs blanked the Spiders, 6-0.


The Bulldogs will look to right-hander Wes Wrenn (1-0) for his second Friday start of 2007.  Wrenn pitched a solid six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out six and walking only one.  The sophomore has thrown six or more innings in his last 11 starts going back to the 2006 season.  Junior right-hander Alex Hale (2006: 7-2, 3.20 ERA, 64.2 IP, 67 SO) gets the starting nod for Richmond as Friday marks the season opener for the Spiders.


The Citadel versus Liberty: The Bulldogs have never faced Liberty during the Fred Jordan era, but have a 2-0 all-time record against the Flames.  The last time the Dogs and Flames squared off was in 1990 when The Citadel made an appearance in the College World Series.  The Dogs earned a 10-3 victory over Liberty that year, while the only other time the two faced each other was in 1989 when The Citadel won, 5-4.  The Flames lost two of three to East Carolina in their season opener last weekend.


Sophomore southpaw Matt Crim (0-0) will take to the mound on Saturday.  Crim tossed five frames against the Bucs last weekend, allowing two runs on six hits while fanning three.  The left-hander led The Citadel in won-loss percentage (5-1, .833) in 2006 as the Sunday starter.  He will go up against right-hander Dustin Umberger (0-1) who faced East Carolina for his first start of 2007.  Umberger suffered the loss as the Pirates defeated the Flames’, 7-4.  The sophomore threw four innings, giving up six runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out four.


The Citadel versus South Carolina: Sunday will mark the 158th meeting between the Bulldogs and Gamecocks with South Carolina holding a 114-43 advantage.  The Gamecocks took both contests in 2006 as they defeated the Dogs, 11-2, at Sarge Frye Field in Columbia, S.C. on April 19 and, 12-3, on March 9 at Riley Park.  The last time the Cadets defeated the SEC member was in 2003 when The Citadel downed No. 19 South Carolina, 7-4, in Columbia.  The Gamecocks have won the last seven meetings. Head baseball coach Fred Jordan owns a 7-25 record when facing South Carolina.


The Gamecocks won three games in a tournament hosted by UNC Wilmington last weekend.  South Carolina defeated Oklahoma 13-2, shutout Western Kentucky 12-0 and went to 11 innings with host UNC Wilmington to win 9-8.


The Bulldogs will call on senior right-hander Justin Smith (1-0) to make the start against the Gamecocks.  Smith had an outstanding start after making the transition from the bullpen to Sunday starter this season.  In his first outing of 2007, he struck out a career-high 11 batters and allowed only two earned runs on nine hits to pick up the win.  Smith will square-off with sophomore right-hander Mike Cisco (0-0) who made the start against UNC Wilmington and went six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits while fanning four and walking one.


For more information on The Citadel baseball and Bulldog athletics, log on to www.CitadelSports.com

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