Wild Ninth Inning Gives Cougars 7-6 Win Over #28 Alabama
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Junior RF Baker Knox (San Mateo, Fla./Daytona Beach CC) ripped a two-run double down the right-field line and came around to score on a throwing error by Alabama's Ross Wilson to give College of Charleston a 7-6 come-from-behind win over the Crimson Tide Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point. The Cougars improve to 9-3 on the season and hands #28 Alabama their first loss of the year, dropping the Tide to 8-1.
Down 6-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, senior 1B Justin Brewer (Greer, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College) hit a two-out single through the right side and freshman pinch runner Dre Watts (Laurens, S.C./Laurens) replaced Brewer at third. Knox came to the plate at stroked a 2-2 pitch off the wall in right and scoring Watts. Wilson took the relay from right field and overthrew third base, allowing Knox to score and set off the Cougars' celebration.
After the Crimson Tide plated a run in opening frame with a wind-aided home run to left by Josh Rutledge, Charleston took a 3-1 lead with three runs in the fourth inning. Sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) walked to open the inning, while junior DH Kolby Epley (Yadkinville, N.C./Forbush) was hit by a pitch and Knox walked to load the bases with one out.
Junior 1B Ross Hanna (Greer, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College) stroked a RBI single through the left side, scoring Leeds and a sacrifice fly by junior C Robert Pritcher (Charleston, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College) brought home Epley to give the Cougars the lead. Junior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C./USC Sumter JC) lined a RBI single to left to score Knox and bring the CofC lead to 3-1.
Knox extended the Charleston lead to 4-1 with a solo home run that cleared the left field fence to open up the bottom of the sixth. The Tide exploded for five runs in the seventh, scoring two on a RBI single to left center by John David Smelser and a three-run round-tripper by Josh Rutledge.
The Cougars cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the seventh on a RBI single by junior LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) and mounted a challenge in the eighth but left runners on the corners to end the threat.
Senior Tom Schiller (Rochester, N.Y./Monroe CC) earned the win, tossing 2.2 innings of shutout ball to improve to 3-0. Schiller allowed two hits and struck out three. Junior starter Josh Salay (Rock Hill, S.C./ Spartanburg Methodist College) pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and four runs with three strikeouts. Knox finished the game 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored.
Alabama's Jake Smith took the loss, allowing two runs, one earned, on two hits in 0.2 innings. Rutledge went 2-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored. Taylor Dugas had three hits for the Crimson Tide.
Charleston returns to action Tuesday evening as the Cougars host Toledo at Patriots Point. Game time is set for 5 p.m.