MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - College of Charleston knocked off Elon, 7-1, in the first game of the 2012 conference season.
The win was the fourth straight for the Cougars (7-1), while Elon (5-4) lost a conference opening game for the first time in its program history.
Senior Josh Renfro (1-1) bounced back from a tough start last Friday and pitched six strong innings, scattering six hits and not allowing a run. Renfro recorded eight strikeouts which tied a season high. Junior Drew Freie pitched the seventh and eighth innings, giving up a solo home run, while juniors Ryan Walker and Derrick Smith combined for three strikeouts in the ninth inning.
Sophomore Brandon Murray led the Cougars offensively with a 3-for-4 performance in just his second start in left field. Murray hit a solo home run to center field, his first of the year, and finished with two runs.
"I thought Josh Renfro was outstanding, and our bullpen threw the ball extremely well, giving up just one run," said head coach Monte Lee. "We played a solid game defensively and swung the bats. Brandon Murray was big for us with three hits and a home run. Rob Harding and Cody Martin played well with five RBIs between them."
The Cougars got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning with a solo home run from Cody Martin, his second of the season.
College of Charleston exploded for five more runs in the third inning after singles from Jimmy Holton and Murray started the inning. An error from Elon shortstop Garrett Koster on a double play ball loaded the bases with one out, and Daniel Aldrich earned a four-pitch walk to score Holton from third. Harding then cleared the bases with a double to left center to make it 5-0. Martin picked up another RBI by doubling in Harding, and the Cougars led 6-0 after the third inning.
CofC's only other run came on Murray's solo home run to center in the fifth inning.
Martin finished with a 2-for-4 day with two RBIs and a run, while Harding had three RBIs. Aldrich and Martin have now reached base safely in all eight games this season for College of Charleston.
Elon's Kyle Webb (1-2) earned his second loss of the season after going five innings and giving up six earned runs and eight hits. Garrett Koster scored Elon's only run with a solo home run in the top of the eighth inning.
The Phoenix managed eight hits in the game, but could not put runners in position to score. College of Charleston did not commit an error in the game.
Saturday's game against Elon has been moved to Sunday due to expected rain and thunderstorms in the area. The two teams will play a double-header on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.