Because of a tiebreaker with co-champion Appalachian State, the Cougars will enter as a two seed and face #7 The Citadel in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. It will be the first time since 2006 since the two rivals have met in the tournament when the Cougars defeated The Citadel, 5-4, in the championship game.
College of Charleston went 3-1 this past week with a big non-conference win over Coastal Carolina in 12 innings, followed by a series win over UNC-Greensboro. Daniel Aldrich hit the game-winning single against CCU in extra innings to score Marty Gantt as the Cougars won their third walk-off home victory of the year. Brandon Glazer hit a three-run homer in that game as he finished the week with three homers, nine RBI and six runs. Pitching ace Christian Powell allowed just one earned run in his win over UNCG on Friday night, holding down the Spartans through five innings en route to an 11-6 victory.
RHP #5 Austin Pritcher, Citadel, 6-5, 3.21 ERA, 92.2 IP, 26 BB, 58 K
RHP #20 Christian Powell, CofC, 9-3, 2.32 ERA, 85.1 IP, 24 BB, 69 K
All of the Southern Conference tournament games will be broadcast live on ESPN 910 AM with Jeff McCarragher and Dennis Trapani. A free video stream of each tournament game will be available at SoConSports.com, and Sunday's championship game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.
College of Charleston is 37-37 with The Citadel since 1991 when CofC went to Division I. The Cougars evened the series with a three-game sweep of the Bulldogs earlier this season at Patriots Point.
The Cougars are 3-3 against the Bulldogs in Southern Conference Tournament play, with the last matchup coming in 2006. Four of the top 10 most attended games in SoCon Tournament history have come between the Cougars and Bulldogs including the highest attendance of 5,419 which came in 2003 at Joe Riley Park.
COFC IN THE SOUTHERN CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT
After the Cougars went 3-2 to advance to the SoCon semifinals last season, CofC improved its overall SoCon Tournament record to 26-23. College of Charleston earned its only SoCon Tournament title back in 2006 when the Cougars eventually advanced to an NCAA Super Regional.
The Cougars are 3-7 against possible tournament opponent Georgia Southern and 3-1 against bracket mate Elon.
MARTY GANTT SWEEPS SOCON PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Marty Gantt swept the coaches and media vote for the SoCon Player of the Year award, while Christian Powell earned the coaches Pitcher of the Year award. It marked the first time in program history that the Cougars won both the Player and Pitcher of the Year award in the same season.
Both Powell and Gantt were named to the All-Southern Conference First Team, as Powell led the league with a 2.32 ERA and Gantt led the SoCon in runs (62) with a batting average of .369 and 40 RBI.
Bradley Goodson was named All-SoCon second team shortstop on both teams, and Brandon Murray earned All-SoCon second team on the coaches ballot. Matt Pegler, Kyle Owings and Rob Harding all earned All-SoCon second team on the media ballot.
GANTT EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION
Senior CF Marty Gantt has now been named for the lists of the two most prestigious player of the year awards in college baseball, as he was selected last week as a Dick Howser Award semifinalist. Gantt had previously been selected to the watch list for the USA Golden Spikes Award.
As the SoCon Player of the Year, Gantt is currently third in the Southern Conference with a batting average of .369. His league-best 62 runs rank ninth in the nation, while Gantt also leads the league in walks (41) and on-base percentage (.481). He is second in the conference in doubles (19) and third in stolen bases (25) and slugging percentage (.617).
ALDRICH FINDING HIS GROOVE
After starting the season with non-typical production, preseason All-American Daniel Aldrich has turned it around since hitting two doubles from the seven spot in a win over Appalachian State (4/8) in the series finale. Aldrich has hit .372 in the last 23 games with eight home runs, four triples and 25 RBI for a slugging percentage of .809. He was named the SoCon Player of the Week twice, and hit a walk-off RBI single to defeat Coastal Carolina on May 15.
College of Charleston starter Christian Powell has proved to nearly unhittable this season, as he sports a league-best 2.32 ERA. Powell has boasted three starting performances where he has not allowed an earned run and has one partial shutout this season. His nine wins are tied for second in the SoCon as he was named the SoCon Pitcher of the Year by the coaches.
Powell was recently named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, the only representative of the SoCon on the 51-player list.
College of Charleston Sunday starter Matt Pegler has surprised most this season with his outstanding performances at the bookend of the Cougar rotation. Pegler has posted an ERA of 2.92, good for third in the conference, with a record of 9-2. These past two months, Pegler has been the king of the bounce back victory as he's led CofC to six wins after losses the day before. Pegler was named Second Team All-Conference by the media.
SENIOR HITS HARD
College of Charleston senior and corner infielder Rob Harding has made big-time plays in big situations for the Cougars. Harding leads the team with a .459 average with runners in scoring position, while he's tallied a team-best 17 two-out RBI. He currently leads the team with 43 RBI.
In the win over Clemson, Harding delivered the game-sealing RBI and then snagged a liner down the third baseline to get the lead runner in the 8th inning. He also hit a walk-off single to defeat The Citadel in the 11th inning (4/22).
Harding was named All-SoCon Second Team by the Southern Conference Sports Media Association.
B-MURR, BENZ OR BENTLEY
College of Charleston sophomore Brandon Murray has been a power generator at the plate, blasting a team-best 11 home runs and boasting a slugging percentage of .556. Murray is sixth in the league in home runs and was named All-SoCon Second Team.
Murray was named the SoCon Player of the Week on March 26. He hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that led to the Cougars extra-inning win over CSU (3/27).
POWER AT DH
Sophomore Brandon Glazer has rewarded Coach Lee for making him a regular starter in the second half of the season. Glazer finished the year with a .321 batting average and four home runs in the last five games. His three-run shot against Coastal Carolina helped lift the Cougars to victory after falling behind early.
CLOSING THE DOOR
College of Charleston senior David Peterson has embraced his new role of closer in 2012 and has provided several stellar outings recently to save games for the Cougars, including a two-inning performance at South Carolina.
Peterson is currently in second place in the conference in saves with 10, putting him 39th in the NCAA. That mark also ranks sixth for most in a season in CofC history.
Peterson was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List along with 44 other relievers.
WHAT'S HAPPENED BY THE 4TH INNING?
CofC games this season have largely been determined by the action in the first four innings. The Cougars are an impressive 30-3 when leading after the fourth inning and are 3-14 when trailing after the fourth inning. The Cougars do not easily give up leads as they are 27-6 on the season when scoring first.
CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL
While the College of Charleston has based its 2012 reputation off of the strength of its pitching staff, the Cougars are still hitting for power in a big way. CofC leads the Southern Conference in team home runs with 60, a mark that currently ranks 5th in the country.
College of Charleston has seen power from a number of different bats as Brandon Murray (11), Marty Gantt (10), Daniel Aldrich (10), and Bradley Goodson (8) have eight or more long balls. CofC is 29-10 this season when the squad hits a home run in a game, and 13-1 when the Cougars hit two or more long balls.