Blake Hammers Two Home Runs in 16-6 Rout of Elon
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly R.I./ Lake City CC) blasted a pair of three-run home runs and senior RHP Tom Schiller (Rochester, N.Y./Monroe CC) allowed one run in 4.2 innings of relief as the College of Charleston pounded out 14 hits on the way to a 16-6 victory over Elon in game one of a Southern Conference doubleheader at Patriots Point. The Cougars improve to 29-12 overall, 13-7 in the SoCon, while Elon falls to 26-15, 12-8 in the league.
The Phoenix jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first on a RBI single up the middle by Neal Pritchard. Charleston moved ahead 2-1 in the third inning as junior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) lined a RBI double into left and junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) hit a sacrifice fly to center.
Elon posted a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings for a 5-2 advantage. Matt Hinson led off the fourth with a solo home run to right and harry Austin added a RBI double to left center, while Ryan Adams RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Hinson did the damage in the fifth.
The Cougars broke the game open with eight runs in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by Blake's three-run shot to right center and a three-run triple by sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage). Junior RF Baker Knox (San Mateo, Fla./Daytona Beach CC) kicked things off in the frame with a double down the right-field line and junior DH Kolby Epley (Yadkinville, N.C./Forbush) walked on six pitches before Blake deposited the first pitch from Elon reliever Ken Ferrer over the wall for his ninth home run of the season and knotting the score at 5-5. After senior SS Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) was hit by a pitch and stole second, Rakar walked and Kral lined a single to right to load the bases for Leeds. The sophomore cleared the bases with a triple to right center, giving him 61 RBI on the season. Epley added a RBI single to left center and sophomore LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) capped the inning by scoring on throwing error by the Elon catcher for a 10-5 CofC lead.
Charleston added six insurance runs in the next two innings, scoring a single run in the seventh and plating five in the eighth before Elon added a final run in the last inning. Kral lined a RBI double to right in the eighth extending the lead to 11-5. Rodriguez led off the eighth with a double to left center and Knox walked to put runners at first and second. Epley singled through the left side, advancing the runners and a throwing error by Hinson allowed Rodriguez to score and put Knox at third. Blake stepped to the plate and dropped a 0-1 pitch over the fence in right center for his second round-tripper of the afternoon, giving him six RBI in the game and 32 on the season. Kral added his second sacrifice fly of the game for the Cougars' final run.
Schiller earned the win for the Cougars in relief of Charleston senior RHP Kevin Decker (Washington, Ind./Seminole CC), improving to 5-1 on the season. The right-hander scattered four runs and allowed one run, while striking out four.
Ferrer took the loss for Elon, allowing four runs on one hit, and walking two in a third of an inning. Elon starter Daniel Britt lasted five innings, giving up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts.