Cougars Pull Away Late to Down Bulldogs, 7-1
Mt. Pleasant, S.C. – The Citadel Baseball team gave up seven unanswered runs on Tuesday night to fall in a non-conference contest at Patriots Point to College of Charleston, 7-1.
The Cougars (32-17) scored five runs in the eighth in the midst of a lightning delay to seal the win pehind strong pitching and capitalizing on three Bulldog miscues.
The Bulldogs (20-28) struck first in the top of the third inning off Cougar starter Jake Zokan when Josh Pless (Boiling Springs, S.C.) singled through the right side and advanced to third on a two-base throwing error by catcher Rob Kral. A sac fly to center by Nick Orvin (Moncks Corner, S.C.) would score Pless to give The Citadel a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, the Cougars would tie the game when Kral led off with a solo homer off Bulldogs starter Bryce Hines (Hanahan, S.C.) to right field. In the fifth, Charleston would take the lead when Jamie Holler singled to center and stole second base. A chopper up the third base line by Marty Gantt would draw an errant throw by Drew DeKerlegand (Pearland, Texas) that sailed past first base and into right field allowing Holler to score.
In the eighth, Legare Jones (Columbia, S.C.) singled through the left side and DeKerlegand was hit by new Cougar pitcher Casey Lucchese, but he struck out Matt Simonelli (Orlando, Fla.) looking to end the threat.
Things would come unraveled for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the frame when the Cougars batted around and took advantage of a leadoff walk by reliever TJ Clarkson (Coral Springs, Fla.) when Matt Leeds took first, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. Pinch hitter Ryan Daniels hit a grounder to first that should have ended the inning, but Justin Mackert (Cleveland, Ohio) was unable to field the ball allowing Daniels to reach and Leeds to score.
Cole Rakar then reached on a fielder's choice as Calvin Orth (Jacksonville, Fla.) dove to keep the ball in the infield and his throw to second was a second too late. Rob Harding then ripped a base hit up the middle off new pitcher David Leeth (Hartsville, S.C.) to score pinch hitter Blake Ross to bump the lead up to 4-1.
After a 38 minute lightning delay, Holler doubled off the ivy in left field to score Rakar and Harding. A double to left by Gantt then plated Holler for the seventh Cougar run of the evening.
Hines (4-4) struck out nine batters in 5.0 innings of work, allowing four hits, two runs (one earned) and no walks. Zokan (2-1) picked up the win, allowing five hits, one unearned run with a walk and five strikeouts in 7.0 innings. Lucchese picked up his fourth save as he pitched the final 2.0 innings allowing just one hit and struck out four.
Holler went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and RBI to lead the Cougar offense. William Ladd (Winnsboro, S.C.) extended his streak of reaching base to 23 consecutive games as he tallied two hits along with Jones, who went 2-for-3.
The Citadel continues their road swing on Wednesday when they travel to Fluor Field in Greenville to battle USC Upstate at 7 p.m. Live stats will be available along with recap and box score following the game on all new CitadelSports.com.