Six-Run Eighth Inning Lifts Cougars to Season-Opening Win
With Radford leading 3-2, the Cougars sent 12 batters to the plate scoring six runs on six hits. Junior Ross Hanna (Greer, S.C.) led off the inning with a single up the middle and pinch runner Hutson Dodds (Charleston, S.C.) advanced to second on a walk by junior Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.). A bunt single by junior Jesse Mesa (Miramar, Fla.) loaded the bases and a sacrifice fly by sophomore Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) knotted the game at 3-3.
Junior Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) roped a RBI single down the left-field line to score Kral and move Mesa to third, giving the Cougars their first lead of the game. After intentionally walking freshman Thomas Brittle (Cross, S.C.), junior Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) lifted a two-RBI single to left field to increase the Charleston lead to 6-3. A pair of RBI singles by senior Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, S.C.) and junior Kolby Epley (Charlotte, N.C.) rounded out the inning for the Cougars.
Rodriguez led the Cougars at the plate, batting 2-for-4 with a solo home run in the seventh and a pair of RBI. Mesa, Epley and Rakar also added a pair of hits apiece. Junior Heath Hembree (Cowpens, S.C.) picked up the win for Charleston, tossing the final 1-2/3 innings, allowing two hits and one earned run.
Radford was led by senior Reggie Keen, who batted 3-for-5 with a RBI and sophomore Brett Mollenhauer's two hits and two RBI. Sophomore Abram Williams took the loss for the Highlanders, allowing seven runs on five hits in 1-1/3 innings.
CofC returns to action tomorrow at Patriots Point in game two of the series. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m.