The Cougars have had a rough week, with the nationally ranked and two time defending national champion University of South Carolina trampling over the team, and Appalachian State viciously taking the series win for this weekend’s SoCon match up.
The no. 10 Gamecocks didn’t waste time getting on the board, with their first run coming at the top of the first. CofC pitcher Ryan West (Glen Allen, VA) worked valiantly for the team, allowing just four hits and one run over the first four innings as the Cougars tried to tie up the game. USC managed to increase their lead in the fifth with a run, and then doubled it in the sixth. The Gamecocks went on to add three more runs with the Cougars unable to overcome the team’s impeccable pitching, finishing the game at 7-0.
With their second ranked opponent of the week, no. 30 Appalachian State, the College was unable to pull out the win despite an early lead. Though the first inning remained quiet on both sides, Brandon Murray (Nassau, Bahamas) stealing home and a double by Gunnar Heidt (Garden City, SC) gave Charleston the 2-0 lead in the second. A single by Murray and a sacrifice bunt by Harding managed to double this lead in the third to 4-0. Though ASU managed a run in the fifth, it hardly made a dent in the Cougars lead. That all changed in the explosive seventh inning, where App State dramatically took the lead with five runs, making the score 6-4 to ASU. Marty Gantt’s (North Augusta, GA) ground ball managed to bring in Bradley Goodson (Jacksonville, FL) in the eight, edging the Cougars closer, but ASU readily reciprocated with a run of their own. As a last ditch effort, the Cougars fought hard in the top of the ninth, with Dre Watts’ (Laurens, SC) single bringing in Rob Harding (Columbia, SC) and leaving two on base. Goodson’s ground out officially finished play however, with the scoring at 8-6.
The College had an even worse time of it on Saturday. Though they once again took the lead, this time with a single homer by Tyler Jackson (Bishopville, SC) in the third, another five run inning by ASU tore down their dreams of a comeback. A home run by App State in the sixth furthered this lead, bringing the score to 8-1. A double by Goodson managed to bring the Cougars closer, but effectively ended the scoring, leaving the game at an 8-2 loss.
On Sunday, it was time for some good old fashion Cougar revenge. With Christian Powell (Greenwood, SC) at the helm for pitching, it was no mercy for the mountaineers. The game was silent for the first two innings with neither side able to make a play off the pitchers’ throws. For the third day in a row, the Cougars got on the board first, with a single to Harding and Murray each bringing in a runner. The College continued to slowly build their lead, with Brandon Glazer’s (Hagerstown, MD) single bringing in Gantt and making the score 3-0 in the top of the fifth. A double by Daniel Aldrich (Mount Pleasant,SC) and triple by Goodson brought the team two more, and it was only then that App State managed any sort of comeback, though it was capped at one run. A single homer by Gantt in the seventh brought the score up to 6-1 and again the Mountaineers tried to strike back, this time managing two runs. A homer by Heidt in the eighth made up for these by bringing in two of his own, finishing the scoring at 8-3 to the Cougars.
The College now stands at 22-11 overall and 12-6 in the SoCon. As of April 1st, the team ranked 3rd in the nation for ERA with a 2.31 with Powell 9th overall with his personal ERA of 1.11. CofC next plays at home Tuesday at 6pm against Winthrop with the next SoCon series at home as well starting Friday, Apr 13th at 6.