The College of Charleston is well on their way to ending the school year with a bang with four impressive wins under their belt from the week. By far the most impressive was the amazing revenge the Cougars got on the nationally ranked No 8 USC Gamecocks, downing them, 4-3.
In the first CofC win against the two time defending national champions since 2007, the Cougars proved that a small school can top even champions. In the typical College fashion, the team took the early lead thanks to a double by Marty Gantt (North Augusta, SC) and then a home run by Daniel Aldrich (Mount Pleasant, SC) to make the score 2-0 going into the bottom of the first. A homer a piece in the second and third innings, to Brandon Glazer (Hagerstown, MD) and Bradley Goodson (Jacksonville, FL) respectively, gave the definitive lead that would win the game for the Cougars. South Carolina would go on to score three runs, but the combined efforts of pitchers Ryan West (Glen Allen, VA), Josh Renfro (Bradenton, FL), and David Peterson (Walnut Creek, CA) staved the Gamecocks off and assured that the win would go to Charleston.
A cross town rivalry set up the last home SoCon series of the season, with the Citadel Bulldogs coming from across town to try their hand at defeating the Cougars. The game didn’t start quite as easily as usual, however, as the Citadel managed to score in the second and the third with no opposition, giving them the early lead of 2-0. The bottom of the third showed a team that was ready for some revenge, with a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Holton (West Palm Beach, FL) bringing in the first of many runners for the inning. Hits by Gantt and Goodson furthered the score and gave the College the lead, with a single by Brandon Murray (Nassau, Bahamas) finishing out the scoring for the inning at 4-2. The Cougars didn’t stop there though as they continued to mount the score through the next four innings as the Bulldogs attempted and failed to even up the game. The forth saw Gantt’s double bringing in two runners, with a single by Gunnar Heidt (Garden City, SC) in the fifth bringing in one and a single by Rob Harding (Columbia, SC) in the 6th bringing in another. The Citadel managed one more run in the eighth and ninth, but it was not nearly enough to top the Cougars with the game finishing at 8-4.
The second game of the series went even smoother for the College as two solo homers in the bottom of the first to Gantt and Murray brought the score to 2-0. The Bulldogs managed a run in the second, but the College quickly reciprocated with a run of their own thanks to a single by Goodson. The game remained quiet on both sides for three innings until CofC made a decisive move in the sixth to take the game. A single by Devon Reed (Lincoln, DE) and a hit by Murray bringing in three runs, making the score 6-1. A single by Goodson in the eighth added to the lead, with a feeble attempt by the Citadel to make a comeback adding only one run to their score, finishing the game at 7-2.
The win didn’t come quite so easy on Sunday’s game, with it taking an incredible 11 innings to finally determine the winner. A single by Harding started off the game in the top of the first by giving the cougars a run, but the bulldogs were quick to match and then beat this, putting them over the College for the first time of the series. Yet another single to Harding tied up the game in the third, with a single from Goodson and a sacrifice hit by Murray bringing the score to 4-2. The College added what should have been an insurance run in fifth with Holton’s ground out bringing the score 5-2.
In a frightening turn of events, the Citadel exploded in the 6th inning, scoring three runs and putting the game back into jeopardy with a score of 5-5. For the next four innings the game remained deadlocked, with only four hits allowed across them. Finally, in the bottom of the 11th, a single by Harding nabbed the game and allowed the College the sweep of the series with a final score of 6-5.
The team next plays this weekend away in a SoCon series against Western Carolina. The Cougars will not play at home again until Tue, May 8th against Savannah State at 6pm.