Samford Takes SoCon Opener with 20-13 Win over Cougars
The Cougars (11-4, 0-1 SoCon) struck first in the opening inning with a RBI single to right by junior Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College). Samford (8-5, 1-0) took the lead in the top of the second, scoring three runs on the strength of a two-run single to center by Brad Moss and plating a run on a wild pitch by Charleston sophomore starter David Peterson (Walnut Creek, Calif./Los Comas).
Samford extended its lead to 8-1 with five runs in the third inning. The Bulldogs tallied two on a two-run single by Trey Hayes and Moss picked up his third RBI of the game with a single to left field. Samford brought two more runs across on a fielder’s choice by Wayne Miller and a throwing error by junior 2B Jesse Mesa (Miramar, Fla./Central Florida JC).
Charleston rallied back with five runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit to 8-6. After Mesa singled to lead off the inning, sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) homered to right center for his team-leading fourth round-tripper of the season. Junior DH Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) followed with a single to right center and Rodriguez plated Kral with a RBI double. Junior RF Baker Knox (San Mateo, Fla./Daytona Beach CC) kept things going with a RBI double to center, scoring Rodriguez and would come across on a RBI groundout by junior C Robert Pritcher (Charleston, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College).
The Bulldogs would score seven runs in the next three innings to take a commanding 15-6 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. David Schulze plated a run in the fourth on a RBI single and Samford scored two in the fifth on a solo home run by Miller and a throwing error by Pritcher. The Bulldogs added four in the sixth on a RBI triple by Michael Johnson, a RBI single by Moss and a two-run single by Mason Meredeth.
CofC would get its bats moving again in the bottom of the sixth, bringing home four runs. Kral ripped a two-run single to the right side and Knox doubled to center field to bring around the other two runs. Samford’s offense kept the pressure on by scoring four more runs in the seventh, while the Cougars added three more in the bottom of the stanza. Kral roped a two-run triple to right center and senior LF Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC) lined a RBI double off the wall in center. Samford tacked on a final run in the top of the ninth to complete the scoring.
Samford’s Jonathan Stephens earned the victory to improve to 3-0 on the season. The right-hander tossed five innings, allowing eight runs and nine hits with five strikeouts. Schulze led the Bulldogs’ offense, batting 5-for-5 with four runs scored. Miller and Moss added four hits apiece with Moss notching five RBI. Peterson took the loss for the Cougars, giving up five runs on six hits before being taken out in the third inning. Kral led CofC, batting 3-for-3 with three runs and four RBI.
Charleston and Samford meet tomorrow for game two of the series. First pitch on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.