MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Senior LF Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC) knocked a two-run home run and junior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) batted 3-for-5 as College of Charleston defeated visiting Ball State 7-5 at Patriots Point Wednesday evening. The Cougars improve to 11-3 on the season, while Ball State falls to 4-9.
Charleston jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring both runs on a RBI single down the left-field line by junior C Kolby Epley (Yadkinville, N.C./Forbush). The Cougars extended their lead to 5-0 in the third inning on a RBI single to short by junior Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) and the two-run round-tripper by Blake.
Ball State plated three runs in the fifth to cut the Cougars' lead to 5-3. Kory Benbow lined a RBI triple to right center and Stephen Claypool followed with a RBI double down the right-field line to score Benbow. After a pair of strikeouts by freshman starter Matt Pegler (Greenville, S.C./Riverside), T.J. Baumet stroked a RBI single through the left side to score Claypool. The Cardinals added another run in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly to right by Wes Winkle to cut the CofC lead to one.
Charleston responded in the bottom the seventh with two runs to pull away, scoring on a sacrifice fly to right by sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) and plating a run on a wild pitch by Ball State's Jon Cisna that scored junior 2B Jesse Mesa (Miramar, Fla./Central Florida JC).
Pegler picked up his first collegiate victory, tossing five innings with five strikeouts and scattering five hits. Junior Heath Hembree (Cowpens, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College) pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save on the season.
Derek Grabner took the loss for Ball State, allowing five runs on seven hits in three innings.
Charleston starts the Southern Conference schedule this weekend as Samford visits Patriots Point for a three-game series. Game time on Friday is set for 6 p.m.