MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) snapped a 6-6 tie with a two-run home run to right center in the sixth inning to lead College of Charleston to a 10-7 win over visiting College of Holy Cross Wednesday afternoon at Patriots Point. The Cougars improve to 7-1 on the season and will play Charleston Southern at 5:00 p.m. this evening, while Holy Cross falls to 1-3.
Holy Cross jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead on a home run by Eric Oxford. The Cougars responded with single runs in the first and second frames to knot the score at 2-2. Junior DH Kolby Epley (Yadkinville, N.C./Forbush) ripped a RBI single down the right field line in the first, while junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) evened the score by coming home on a throwing error on Crusaders' pitcher Bobby Holmes.
After Holy Cross plated a run in the top of the fourth, Charleston took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore RF Thomas Brittle (Cross, S.C./Berkeley) knocked a RBI single to left field and junior CF Cole Rakar (Mount Pleasant, S.C./Wando) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score the go-ahead run. The Cougars increased their lead to 5-3 on a RBI single through the left side by junior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C./USC Sumter JC).
The Crusaders took a 6-5 lead in the sixth on a two-run double down the left-field line by Nick Ciardello. Ciardello would later score on a passed ball by Kral. After Leeds' round-tripper gave Charleston a 7-5 lead, senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC) added another run with a RBI single to increase the Charleston lead to 8-6. Holy Cross cut the lead in half as Steven Tkowski scored on a fielder's choice in the seventh inning.
Charleston completed the scoring with two runs in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Epley and a RBI single by Leeds. Leeds finished the game 2-for-5 with three RBIs, while Oxford led Holy Cross with five hits and three runs scored.
Senior Tom Schiller (Rochester, N.Y./Monroe CC) earned the win for the Cougars, tossing two innings of relief with five strikeouts. Senior Owen Brittle (Cross, S.C./Florence Darlington Tech) tossed two innings of scoreless relief to earn his second straight save. Brittle allowed two hits and struck out two. Chris Blanchard took the loss for Holy Cross allowing six hits and four runs in two innings of relief.