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The Southern ConferencePublished: 5/25/2024, Last updated: 6/25/2024
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Samford tops Wofford to reach SoCon title tilt

Bulldogs are bidding for their second straight SoCon tournament title and fifth overall

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No. 2 Samford 10, No. 5 Wofford 1
GREENVILLE, S.C. – Samford’s Lucas Steele drove in five runs to power No. 2 seed Samford past No. 5 seed Wofford, 10-1, on Saturday at the Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Holston Gases at Fluor Field. The win sends the Bulldogs through to the title game of the tournament.
Samford (36-20) will be making its second straight appearance in the title game and its fourth in the last five tournaments. Wofford (38-18) will now face either No. 3 seed ETSU (35-19) or No. 7 seed Mercer (29-28) on Saturday at 7 p.m. for the right to face the Bulldogs in the championship contest at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
The contest marked the seventh SoCon Tournament meeting in six years between the two teams, with Samford now holding a 4-3 edge.
Wofford jumped out in front early on junior David Wiley’s solo home run over the wall in left field to lead off the second inning.
Samford threatened to knot the score when John Anderson countered by leading off the bottom of the second with a double to left field. He went to third on Andrew Bennett’s groundout to third base, but the Terrier defense retired the side on two consecutive ground outs.  
Samford did capitalize in the next inning, as Josh Rodriguez led off with a double in the bottom of the third. Jackson Harris was hit by a pitch on the next at-bat and three batters later, Lucas Steele brought Rodriguez home with the tying run on an infield single.    
Rodriguez reached base for the second time with a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth inning. He moved into scoring position when Harris grounded out and went to third on Garrett Staton’s single. With runners at the corners and one out, Rodriguez scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. Garrett Howe then walked to get two runners on base again. With two outs, Anderson doubled for the second time to bring home Staton with the Bulldogs’ second run of the inning.  
Samford extended its lead with three runs in the sixth inning. The first two Bulldog batters reached base, as Bennett led off by getting hit by a pitch and Aaron Walton singled to right field. With runners on first and third, Bennett crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Two batters later Rodriguez singled and Harris was hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out. After that, Staton drove in two runs with his second single of the afternoon, boosting the Bulldogs’ lead to 6-1.
Steele pushed Samford’s cushion to six runs with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh and the Bulldogs put the game out of reach by scoring three runs on Steele’s bases-loaded double with one out in the eighth inning.
Wofford loaded the bases with no outs in their final frame but came away empty-handed.  
Steele was 3-for-5 at the plate with a home run, a double, a run scored and five RBIs. Anderson finished the afternoon 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. Staton was 3-for-5 with three singles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Jackson was 2-for-3 with a triple, a single and a walk. Wiley finished with a home run in three trips to the plate and Hare added a double and a walk.  
A trio of Samford pitchers limited the Terriers to five hits. Bulldog starter Miller Riggins (2-1), who drew a starting nod for just the third time this season, earned the win after surrendering just one run on four hits over six innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked just one.
Wofford sophomore Champ Davis (3-1) absorbed the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in an inning of relief. The right-hander walked two.   
2024 SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
May 22 (Wednesday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (ESPN+)
(Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 1: #5 Wofford 8, #8 The Citadel 3
Game 2: #7 Mercer 19, #6 VMI 14
May 23 (Thursday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (ESPN+)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 3: #5 Wofford 12, #4 Western Carolina 1
Game 4: #7 Mercer 7, #3 ETSU 4
May 24 (Friday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (ESPN+)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 5: #5 Wofford 5, #1 UNCG 2
Game 6:  #2 Samford 9, #7 Mercer 7
Game 7: #3 ETSU 10, #1 UNCG 7
Game 8: #7 Mercer 10, #4 Western Carolina 8
May 25 (Saturday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (ESPN+)
 (Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 9: #2 Samford 10, #5 Wofford 1
Game 10: #3 ETSU vs. #7 Mercer, 3:30 p.m.
Game 11: Winner Game 10 vs. #5 Wofford, 7 p.m.
May 26 (Sunday)
SoCon Championship presented by Holston Gases (SDN)
Fluor Field; Greenville, S.C.)
Game 12:  #2 Samford vs. Winner Game 11, 12 p.m.
Game 13: Game 12 winner vs. Game 12 loser^, 40 minutes after Game 12
^ if necessary