The Cougars currently boast an RPI of 35 (Boyd's World) and will need to continue their winning ways in order to be considered for an at-large bye to the NCAA Tournament.
Last weekend, CofC swept crosstown rival The Citadel to keep pace with current SoCon leader Appalachian State. Marty Gantt led the Cougars with an exceptional weekend, hitting .692 with four runs and four RBIs with three doubles. He was also intentionally walked three times. The weekend boosted Gantt's season batting average to .406, the best in the Southern Conference.
Fellow senior Rob Harding also had a big weekend, going 7-for-13 with four RBIs, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the 11th inning to beat The Citadel on Sunday night.
RHP #28 Jordan Smith, WCU, 3-4, 3.14 ERA, 63.0 IP, 34 BB, 55 K
RHP #20 Christian Powell, CofC, 7-2, 2.20 ERA, 61.1 IP, 15 BB, 51 K
LHP #22 Morgan McKinney, WCU, 5-2, 3.00 ERA, 60.0 IP, 26 BB, 50 K
LHP #19 Josh Renfro, CofC, 6-3, 3.47 ERA, 59.2 IP, 9 BB, 58 K
RHP #46 Jeremy Null, WCU, 4-1, 5.77 ERA, 43.2 IP, 21 BB, 42 K
RHP #22 Matt Pegler, CofC, 6-2, 2.93 ERA, 58.1 IP, 14 BB, 40 K
Fans can watch all of the weekend's action by subscribing to Catamount All-Access on CatamountSports.com. A free audio stream will also be available.
The Cougars are 33-13 against WCU all-time, with CofC winning the last four in a row, including a series sweep last April at Patriots Point.
SCOUTING THE CATAMOUNTS
The Catamounts snapped a four-game losing streak on Wednesday night with a 6-1 win over East Tennessee State. Western Carolina currently sits in fifth place in the conference, however, the Catamounts finish the season with series against the top four teams.
Western has been led by the hitting of Tyler White who boasts a .385 average and .476 on-base percentage. Jacob Hoyle leads the team with 37 RBIs, and Adam Martin has six home runs for a .503 slugging percentage.
WCU hits .317 as a team, while the pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.75.
COFC IN THE STATISTICAL RANKINGS
The Cougars currently lead the SoCon in pitching with a team ERA of 2.74 and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.24, both of which rank College of Charleston fifth in the country. The Cougars are also seventh in the NCAA in hits allowed per nine innings (7.4).
Christian Powell leads the league with an ERA of 2.22, while his seven wins rank ninth in the country. Matt Pegler is third in the Southern Conference with an ERA of 2.93. Ryan West is second in the conference with an opposing batting average of .208. David Peterson is in first place in the SoCon for saves with nine. That mark ranks 16th nationally.
Marty Gantt leads the conference and is sixth in the country in runs scored with 48 while he also leads the SoCon in batting average (.406), hits (65), doubles (18) and on-base percentage (.500) and is second in slugging percentage (.675), total bases (108) and stolen bases (22). Brandon Murray is fourth in the league in home runs (10).
The Cougars are 8th in the nation in home runs (42) and 12th in homers per game (1.02).
AN ODD DISTINCTION
College of Charleston has the remarkable distinction of being the only team in the nation to rank in the top 10 in both ERA (2.74, 5th) and home runs (42, 8th).
GANTT'S CONSISTENT PLAY
Marty Gantt has led the team all season in batting average after opening with a strong series at South Alabama. Gantt recently snapped a team-best 23-game reached base streak but is on another nine-game hitting streak. He has failed to get a hit in just six games this year.
Gantt has shown that he can hit for power and contact as he is first or second in the conference in all but three offensive categories.
NEW LINEUP = GREAT SUCCESS
In the last eight games since Gantt has moved to the leadoff spot in the order, he is hitting .548 with an on-base percentage of .659 with 11 runs and 8 stolen bases. Bradley Goodson in the six and three spots is hitting .516 with 13 RBI and a slugging percentage of .806 and nine runs. Gantt is 9-16 when leading off an inning in those games, and Goodson is 9-16 with runners in scoring position and has successfully advanced runners over 71 percent of the time.
Goodson was named the SoCon Player of the Week on April 16.
College of Charleston starter Christian Powell has proved to nearly unhittable this season. Powell sports a league-best 2.20 ERA. Powell has boasted three starting performances where he has not allowed an earned run and has one partial shutout this season. His seven wins are tied for first in the SoCon and rank ninth in the NCAA.
Powell was recently named to the Pitcher of the Year Watch List, the only representative of the SoCon on the 51-player list.
NO FREE LUNCHES
Not only has Cougar pitching kept opponent runs off the board, CofC has limited the number of walks allowed. The Cougars have only walked 103 batters while striking out 334, for a strikeout-walk ratio of 3.24, ranking fifth in the country. Both Josh Renfro and Ryan West are averaging less than one walk per pitching appearance.
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 first place in the conference in saves with nine, putting him 18th 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. The award honors the top relievers in NCAA baseball and is narrowed five finalists during the week of the Super Regionals.
B-MURR, BENZ OR BENTLEY
College of Charleston sophomore Brandon Murray has been a power generator at the plate, blasting a team-best 10 home runs and boasting a slugging percentage of .591. Murray is fourth in the league in home runs.
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).
After splitting time in left field to begin the season, Murray has cemented a place in the heart of the lineup with his power and patience (second on team with 25 walks) at the plate.
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 42, a mark that currently ranks eighth in the country.
College of Charleston has seen power from a number of different bats as Brandon Murray (10), Marty Gantt (7) and Bradley Goodson (7) all have seven or more long balls. CofC is 21-5 this season when the squad hits a home run in a game, and 10-1 when the Cougars hit two or more long balls.
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 24-2 when leading after the fourth inning and are 2-9 when trailing after the fourth inning. The Cougars do not easily give up leads as they are 21-5 on the season when scoring first.
WHEN IT RAINS, IT POURS
College of Charleston has seen its share of rain interruptions this season, including a game cancellation at Charleston Southern on March 21. Overall, nine games have been moved or delayed because of weather conditions this season. CofC is 7-2 in games affected by rain.