The lead changed hands three times and the game was tied three times before the Bulldogs scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly from Christiaan Durdaller. Samford added an insurance run in the top of the ninth inning to secure the victory and even the series.
Samford (21-14, 10-7) was led by Durdaller who went 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs and a home run. Reliever Joseph Burns (2-0) picked up the win after pitching 1.2 innings and striking out two. C.K. Irby earned his sixth save of the season with a perfect ninth inning.
College of Charleston starter Christian Powell (6-2) picked up just his second loss of the season as he allowed four runs in 6.2 innings pitched while striking out a career-high 10 Bulldogs.
The Cougars (24-12, 13-7) were led once again by Daniel Aldrich who tallied multiple hits for the fourth straight game. Aldrich hit a double and drove in two runs. Brandon Murray went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple and a run.
The Cougars got on the board first in the first inning with a two-out triple from Murray and an RBI double from Aldrich. Samford responded in the third inning with a solo home run from Durdaller to tie it at one.
Samford took the lead in the fourth inning with a walk from Saxon Butler and a double from Brandon Miller, but the Cougars tied it up in the fifth inning with a single and stolen base from Gantt and an RBI single from Aldrich.
Both teams scored runs in the sixth inning and the Bulldogs took the lead for good with a sacrifice fly RBI from Durdaller in the seventh inning. Samford scored a run in the ninth inning to clinch the 5-3 victory.
After the game, the Cougars participated in St. Baldrick's "Shaving Heads and Saving Lives" as 45 players, coaches, staff and volunteers shaved their head in solidarity with childhood cancer patients. Through Saturday evening, the team has raised nearly $10,000 and is still accepting donations.
The rubber game of the series will come at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point.