Bulldogs Drop Series Finale to Cougars, 10-5
Charleston, S.C. – The Citadel hit three home runs late on Sunday afternoon, but could not overcome an early 10-0 deficit to College of Charleston in a 10-5 loss at Riley Park in front of 1,012 fans.
The Cougars (21-11, 7-5) scored in each of the first five innings and pounded out 13 hits and five doubles to salvage a game in the series. All of the scoring for the Bulldogs (12-20, 7-11) came courtesy of the long ball as Brad Felder (Bowman, S.C.) homered twice and Drew DeKerlegand (Pearland, Texas) went deep to cut into the lead late.
"Our pitchers kept the ball up in the zone and were behind in the count early and their guys capitalized on it," said head coach Fred Jordan on the early deficit. "I was pleased with the way we battled, but Powell was the difference today. He didn't give us anything to get going momentum wise in the first six innings and pitched very well overall."
College of Charleston starter Christian Powell improved to 4-0 on the season after going 8.0 innings, allowing six hits, three runs, three walks and struck out five. Freshman Justin Russell (Jacksonville, Fla.) lasted just 2.0 innings for the Bulldogs, allowing six hits, six runs, a walk and a strikeout in the loss.
Marty Gantt led the game off with a homer to deep center on a ball that Nick Orvin (Moncks Corner, S.C.) nearly caught, but sailed just over the outstretched arm of the junior centerfielder. Orvin was banged up on the play and was forced to leave the game in third inning. Gantt would strike again in the second with a bases-clearing double to give the Cougars a 4-0 lead. A two-run homer by Daniel Aldrich would chase Russell (1-3) from the game in the top of the third inning.
A two-run double by Aldrich in the top of the fourth off Bulldog reliever Connor Hitchingham (Jacksonville, Fla.) would increase the lead to 8-0. The Cougars capped their scoring in the fifth when Rob Kral lined a double into right field off reliever Drew Mahaffey (Summerville, S.C.) to make it 10-0 for Charleston. Mahaffey would strikeout Matt Leeds to end the threat in the fifth, but slipped while making the pitch and was forced to also exit the game.
The Bulldogs would break up the shutout by Powell in the bottom of the seventh when Justin Mackert (Cleveland, Ohio) singled up the middle and Felder launched a two-run homer to right to make it 10-2. A solo homer off Powell by DeKerlegand in the eighth and another two- run blast to right by Felder in the ninth, this time off Cougar reliever Jake Zokan, would cut the lead in half to 10-5. Zokan would settle down however and get three swinging strikeouts to end the game in the ninth to preserve the Cougar win.
Leading the Bulldogs on offense was Felder, who went 3-for-4 with two runs, four RBI and a pair of two-run homers. Mackert went 2-for-2 with two runs scored and a pair of walks as well. Gant went 3-for-5 with four RBI, two runs and a walk to lead the Cougars, while Aldrich added a 4-for-5 with four RBI performance.
Bulldog freshman reliever David Leeth (Hartsville, S.C.) closed out the game for The Citadel, keeping the Cougars off the board by matching his career high with 4.0 innings. He scattered three hits and walk without allowing a run.
The Citadel hosts No. 3 South Carolina on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Riley Park to wrap up their four-game homestand. Darren Goldwater will be calling the action on Fox Sports Radio 1450 AM. Live audio, video and stats will be available. Stay current on Bulldog Baseball at all new CitadelSports.com.