MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - In a playoff-type atmosphere with two rivals fighting for NCAA at-large positioning, the College of Charleston won a walk-off victory in 12 innings over Coastal Carolina, 9-8, at Patriots Point on Tuesday night.
Entering the bottom of the 12th inning with the scored tied at eight, CofC's Marty Gantt reached on an infield single with one out. Bradley Goodson then knocked a base hit through the right side and Gantt sprinted to third base. After an intentional walk to Brandon Murray to set up a double play, redshirt-sophomore Daniel Aldrich dropped in a single over the second baseman's head that scored Gantt and the Cougars celebrated their third walk-off win at home this season.
The win gave College of Charleston (35-17) a boost in the NCAA at-large discussion as the Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak against the rival Chanticleers (34-17).
CofC battled back from deficits in the first and second innings and took an 8-6 lead in the bottom of the sixth frame on an RBI from Murray. CCU scored two runs in the top of the eighth to tie the game and send it to extra innings.
"I was so proud of the way that we battled as a team," head coach Monte Lee said. "We threw a number of pitchers at them and our offense responded when we were down early. We showed a lot of character to keep fighting the whole way."
In all, seven different pitchers took the mound for the Cougars, while the Chanticleers threw six pitchers. Junior Dre Watts (1-0) picked up his first win of the season after pitching a perfect 12th inning, while CCU's Aaron Burke was tagged with the loss.
The reigning SoCon Player of the Week, Aldrich finished the game going 4-for-7 with a home run and three RBI. He hit a two-run homer to dead center field in the bottom of the first inning to cut the score to 3-2. Aldrich now has 19 hits in his last 11 games, as he's improved his batting average to .295 and reached 40 RBIs on the season.
Brandon Glazer also hit a home run, a three-run shot in the third inning that gave CofC its first lead.
Gunnar Heidt had a perfect day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with two walks and an RBI. His infield single in the 11th inning nearly won the game for CofC, as Aldrich raced around third and was tagged out at the plate. Heidt has now gone 6-for-7 with three walks in his last 10 at-bats.
Rob Harding and Murray each tallied three hits and an RBI, while Bradley knocked two hits and scored a run.
Coastal Carolina was led by Rich Witten's four-RBI performance which included a three-run homer in the first inning that put the Chanticleers up on CofC starter Jake Zokan. Jacob May went 3-for-4 with two RBI, and Brian Pruett knocked an RBI triple.
With the win, College of Charleston improved to 3-2 in extra-inning games. The contest marked the longest game this season for CofC in terms of innings (12) and overall time (4:50).
The Cougars will now head on the road to UNC-Greensboro to conclude the 2012 Southern Conference season. College of Charleston is currently one game behind league-leader Appalachian State who will be playing at Western Carolina this weekend.
Because of next week's SoCon Tournament, the series will begin on Thursday at 6 p.m. Friday's game will also start at 6 p.m., while Saturday's series finale starts at 1 p.m.