It was a slow start for USCB baseball on Monday, but the Sand Sharks found the hot bats late, exploding for eight runs in the seventh inning before adding four more in the eighth to run-rule Columbia International 12-2 at Richard Gray Stadium in Hardeeville.
The afternoon contest was a pitching duel early, as USCB’s Blaize Minick and CIU’s Trent Polly combined for nine total strikeouts and just four hits in the first three innings.
The Rams broke the stalemate with single runs in the fourth and fifth frames. Kody Trujillo drove in the first tally of the game, and Buddy Bleasedale scored on a wild pitch to take a 2-0 lead. After stranding a pair of runners in the sixth, USCB’s offense erupted for eight runs in the seventh to jump out to an 8-2 advantage. Hunter McKown, Clint Sellers, Tavaris Terrell, and Nick Milhan led the feeding frenzy with a quartet of RBI doubles before Brock Thibodeaux kept the big inning going with a run-scoring single.
Micah Krieghauser came back out to the mound in relief to pitch the eighth, and mowed down the Rams in order, retiring the side in just 10 pitches to post a key shutdown inning. The Sand Sharks finished it off at the plate in the bottom half, scoring four to end the game by run rule. Sellers, Leandy Castro, and Terrell all reached to load the bases, and Milhan drilled a double to send home two. Terrell crossed the plate on a wild pitch after a CIU pitching change, and Tim Wood delivered the final blow, smacking a double to right-center to cap off the 12-2 victory.
Sellers, Castro, and Kyran Russ were phenomenal at the dish, recording 3-for-5 games. Milhan excelled in the clutch, picking up a pair of hits with four RBIs. Krieghauser earned his first win of the season on the mound, holding the Rams off the board with three strong scoreless innings while the starter Minick set the tone with nine strikeouts.
Winners of three straight, the Sand Sharks (12-8, 2-4) visit Middle Georgia State on Tuesday.
By Wes Kerr