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Wofford downs Samford to reach SoCon title game
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 05/25/2019
Wofford's Mike Brown
Courtesy: Wofford Athletics

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Second-seeded Wofford downed No. 1 seed Samford 5-2 Saturday at the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases, reaching Sunday’s title game for just the second time in school history.

The Terriers (36-23) are in the title tilt for the first time since 2007, when they won their lone title. Samford (41-18) will face either No. 4 seed Mercer or No. 6 seed ETSU at 7 p.m. Saturday with another chance to advance. The Bears and Bucs face off in an elimination game at 3:30 Saturday.

Leading 3-2 in the seventh inning, Wofford got a little breathing room with a two-out rally. An error, a Mike Brown single and a Brett Rodriguez walk loaded the bases for Hudson Byorick, who smashed a double off the Green Monster in left to plate Reed Massey and Brown.

The Terriers had taken the lead in the bottom of the fifth, breaking a 1-1 tie with some small ball and another Samford error. Colin Davis led off the frame with a bunt single and Andrew Orzel reached on an error on a sacrifice attempt to put runners on the corners. Alec Cargin drove in Davis on another sacrifice bunt, and one out later, Brown knocked in Orzel when he chopped a single to the pitcher.

Samford, which is seeking its sixth title-game appearance in last eight seasons, opened the scoring in the first inning, getting an RBI single from SoCon Freshman of the Year (media) Sonny DiChiara to score Branden Fryman, who led off the game with a double.

The Terriers drew even in the fourth on Lawson Hill’s RBI triple that scored Byorick.

After Wofford pulled ahead in the fifth, the Bulldogs got a run back in the sixth on DiChiara’s 20th home run of the season, a Samford freshman record and good for just the third 20-homer season in school history.

Wofford squashed a potential rally in the eighth inning with a stellar defensive play. After Fryman reached on an error to lead off, Terrier center fielder Davis laid out to rob Brooks Carlson of extra bases then fired the ball back in to double Fryman off of first.

Cameron Bloodworth (3-2) earned the win for the Terriers, allowing two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings of work. Reece Maniscalco worked the final 3 2/3 innings, facing the minimum. He struck out two and did not allow a hit.

Samuel Strickland (7-3) took the loss after surrendering three runs, just one earned, on four hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.

Brown and Byorick had two hits apiece to lead Wofford, while DiChiara was 3-for-4 to pace Samford.

May 21 (Tuesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
(Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 1: #8 Western Carolina 7, #9 The Citadel 3              

May 22 (Wednesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 2: #1 Samford 5, #8 Western Carolina 4 (10 innings)
Game 3: #4 Mercer 11, #5 Furman 2
Game 4: #6 ETSU 4, #3 UNCG 2
Game 5: #2 Wofford 12, #7 VMI 7

May 23 (Thursday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 6: #5 Furman 9, #8 Western Carolina 7                 

Game 7: #3 UNCG 4, #7 VMI 2                                      
Game 8: #1 Samford 11, #4 Mercer 0
Game 9: #2 Wofford 2, #6 ETSU 1 

May 24 (Friday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 10: #4 Mercer 9, #3 UNCG 5

Game 11: #6 ETSU 7, #5 Furman 5

May 25 (Saturday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 12: #2 Wofford 5, #1 Samford 2

Game 13: #4 Mercer vs. #6 ETSU                                   3:30 p.m.
Game 14: Winner Game 13 vs. #1 Samford                     7 p.m. 

May 26 (Sunday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (ESPN+)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 15: #2 Wofford vs. Winner Game 14                      12 p.m.

^Game 16: Winner Game 15 vs. Loser Game 15              40 minutes after Game 15 

^ if necessary

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