The Samford baseball team lost two of three games this weekend on the road at College of Charleston.
After weekend, the Bulldogs fall to 21-15 overall, and 10-8 in conference play. The Cougars improve to 25-12 on the season and 11-7 in the SoCon.
In the first game, College of Charleston defeated Samford 7-3. On offense, sophomore pitcher C.K. Irby led the Bulldogs with a triple and an RBI. Charles Basford was Samford’s starting pitcher and gave up six runs in 5.2 innings.
Senior Taylor Hammond, senior Michael Gunter and junior Lex Rutledge also saw time on the mound.
“It was a tough game,” Hammond said. “We didn’t play very well as a team, but we will keep working at it until we figure it out.”
Samford earned the first two runs in the top of the second inning, but College of Charleston fought back and tied it up in the bottom of the second. The Cougars added two more runs in the fourth inning to pull ahead 4-2.
The Bulldogs narrowed the deficit to 4-3 in the top of the fifth, but the Cougars added another run in the bottom of the fifth, the sixth, and in the seventh to stretch their lead to 7-3.
Samford fought back and won the second game of the series with a final of 5-3. Junior outfielder Christiaan Durdaller led the Bulldogs at the plate with a homerun, a double and three RBI.
Senior Josh Martin was the starting pitcher for Samford, giving up three runs off of eight hits. Senior Joe Burns pitched two innings of relief, and sophomore C.K. Irby earned his sixth save of the game.
“I thought our pitchers really battled and competed,” Samford head coach Casey Dunn said. “Josh left the game with the lead. I know he was frustrated to not go deeper than he did, but at the end of the day he came out in the sixth inning and we still had the lead, so I thought that was a quality outing for him.”
“Joe Burns did his job and C.K. was really good to finish the game,” Dunn added.
Although College of Charleston took the lead in the first inning, the Bulldogs tied the game up at 1-1 in the third with a homerun from Durdaller.
In the top of the fourth, Samford took the lead 2-1, but the Cougars tied it up in the fifth.
The Bulldogs pushed ahead again in the sixth with a homerun from senior firstbaseman Saxon Butler, but College of Charleston was not ready to give up. The score was tied again at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth.
In the top of the seventh, Samford took the lead for the final time in the seventh, and added a run in the ninth to add security to earn the win with a final of 5-3.
In the final game, College of Charleston rallied to secure the series with a final of 10-5, despite two home runs from Samford’s senior right fielder Brandon Miller. The two homeruns make 14 on the season for Miller, who is now the leading home run hitter in the Southern Conference.
“This weekend was by far the most comfortable that I have felt at the plate in awhile,” Miller said. “I had a lot of at bats with two strikes, and the two runs I hit were when I had two strikes on the board. I was just able to work the count and get a pitch I could drive.”
“Even though I hit the runs, I wish we could have pulled out the victory. I would trade those homeruns for a win any day,” Miller added.
Senior Kyle Putkonen started on the mound for the Bulldogs, and gave up six runs in five innings. Rutledge, senior Tyler Vanderheiden, Hammond and junior Arthur Strauss also pitched for Samford.
Samford takes on UAB tonight at 6 p.m. on Joe Lee Griffin Field. The Bulldogs will then conclude the week with a weekend sereis against Western Carolina at home.