Baseball sweeps Delaware, takes lead in CAA standings

Catcher Ryan Welke ended the weekend on an eight game hitting streak. Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com.

Catcher Ryan Welke ended the weekend on an eight game hitting streak.
Photo courtesy of CofCSports.com.

After a tough loss to USC Upstate on Wednesday evening, the baseball team swept Delaware in a three game set over the weekend at Patriots Point.

The Cougars, whose record now stands at 24-11 (7-2 CAA), rolled into first place in the conference, one half-game in front of William & Mary.

Behind a strong performance from RHP Taylor Clarke, Charleston won Friday night’s opener, 6-2.

Clarke went¬†eight innings, struck out six batters and held the Blue Hens to just five hits on the night. It was Clarke’s CAA-best seventh win of the season and fourth quality start.

Saturday afternoon saw the Cougars post 12 runs on 12 hits, en route to a 12-1 win.

Catcher Ryan Welke had a career afternoon, driving in five runs on two doubles, while reaching base a total of five times.

RHP Bailey Ober posted his third eight-inning outing of the season, giving him nine solid starts in the last 14 games for the Cougars. The pitcher allowed one unearned run on three hits and struck  out six batters for his sixth victory of his freshman campaign.

It was Sunday’s series closing effort that showed just why Charleston is atop the conference standings, as the Cougars clinched the sweep of Delaware with an 8-3 win.

For the seventh-straight outing, the Charleston offense reached double digits in hits, while the pitching staff recorded its third consecutive quality start. The Cougars finished the series with a .374 batting average, while posting a staff ERA of 1.00.

In his second start in less than a week, freshman RHP Tyler Thornton won his second career game, lasting seven solid innings and allowing just one earned run on six hits with five strikeouts.

Shortstop Gunnar Heidt went 3-5, including a double, with three RBIs. Heidt currently leads the Cougars with a .346 batting average, while also scoring a team-high 32 runs.

Third baseman Blake Butler hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot in the sixth inning, while also walking three three times and adding two RBIs.

Welke extended his hitting streak to eight games, while Carl Wise and Brandon Glazier each added a RBI. Shortstop Champ Rowland added a RBI from the ninth spot in the order, demonstrating Charleston’s top to bottom talent.

After Delaware scored two quick runs in the first inning on two Charleston errors, the Cougars proved they can battle back from mistakes, posting a three-run second inning to take the lead.

Charleston will host a rescheduled game against Georgia Southern this Wednesday at 6 p.m. before hosting James Madison in another CAA home stand this weekend.

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