Mark Chagnon collected three hits, including a go-ahead RBI single in a four-run ninth inning as Eastern Illinois rallied for a 7-5 win over 30th-ranked College of Charleston before 239 at Patriots Point Field on Tuesday.
The Panthers improved to 4-7 with the win. Charleston, which had won its previous 152 games when leading in the ninth inning dating back to 2003, suffered its first home loss and fell to 13-4.
Jordan Kreke doubled to right center to start the top of the ninth. After Kory Peppenhorst struck out, Ryan Meyer walked on a 3-2 pitch and Adam Varrassi singled to left to load the bases.
Casey Spears’ single to left scored Kreke and pinch runner Brett Nommensen to tie the game at 5-all. Chagnon followed with a single to center that plated Varrassi with Spears scoring on the play when Charleston center fielder Stuart Haywood’s throw to third base sailed into the dugout.
Charleston had rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the eighth inning. Joey Bergman’s pinch-hit two-run single to center tied the game at 3-all. Oliver Marmol added a sacrifice fly and Haywood an RBI single to give CofC a 5-3 edge after eight innings.
Erik Huber added two hits for the Panthers including a first-inning two-run homer to left. Chris Campbell and Haywood had three hits each to pace Charleston's 14-hit attack.
Richie Derbak (1-0) picked up the win allowing a run on three hits over 1 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out the side in the ninth. Brian Schlitter (2-2) took the loss in relief surrendering three runs, two earned, on three hits and a walk in one inning of work.
The Cougars open a two-game series at Charlotte in Kannapolis, N.C. on Friday at 2:00. EIU opens a three-game series at The Citadel at 6:00 on Friday.