DAVIDSON, N.C. - Nine different College of Charleston batters accounted for all nine hits and the Cougars erased an 8-2 deficit with an seven-run eighth inning and defeated host Davidson 10-8 Friday evening at Wilson Field. The Cougars improve to 31-12 on the season, 15-7 in the Southern Conference. Davidson falls to 18-24 overall, 5-17 in the SoCon.
Junior reliever Casey Lucchese (Lexington, Ky./Paul Lawrence Dunbar) earned his first win of the season striking out eight in 4-2/3 innings and allowing one run on two hits. Senior LHP Owen Brittle (Cross, S.C./Florence Darlington Tech) picked up his third save, tossing two perfect innings with three strikeouts.
Charleston sent 10 batters to the plate in the seven-run eighth. With one out, senior SS Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Bergman scored on a RBI double to left center by junior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) and fellow junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) and sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) followed with a pair of base on balls to load the bases. Sophomore LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) roped a two-run single to right center to cut Davidson's lead to 8-5. Senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly R.I./ Lake City CC) added a RBI double to left, scoring Leeds and putting runners at second and third. A sacrifice fly by senior PH Justin Brewer (Greer, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College) plated Rodriguez and back-to-back RBI doubles by Blake and freshman PH Dre Watts (Laurens, S.C./Laurens) gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 9-8.
The host Wildcats plated a pair of runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Drew Gadaire. Charleston evened the score in the bottom half of the frame as Leeds led off with a double to left and advanced to third on a throwing error by Davidson starter Thomas Middour on a pickoff attempt. Leeds would later score on a wild pitch by Middour to cut the deficit to one run. Junior DH Hutson Dodds (Charleston, S.C./Porter Gaud) knotted the score at 2-2 with a solo home run to left.
Davidson regained the two-run lead in the top of the second on a RBI double down the left-field line by Seth Freeman, before extending their lead to 7-2 with three runs in the third stanza. Gadaire and Andrew Barna led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and both scored on a RBI triple to right center by Calvin Sigelbaum. After a base on balls to J.P. Craven, Sigelbaum would score on a sacrifice bunt by Tommy Piacenza.
A single by Gadaire put a runner on first with one out in the fourth inning for Davidson and after stealing second, Gadaire would come around to score on a throwing error by junior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C./USC Sumter JC) as he attempted to throw out Sigelbaum at first on a grounder.
After the seven-run eighth, Charleston plated an insurance run in the ninth. Kral ripped a double down the right-field line and would later score on a throwing error by Davidson reliever Mike Frongello.
Charleston freshman starter Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood) was tagged for seven runs on six hits in 2-1/3 innings, striking out two and walking three.
Middour tossed a gem for seven innings, holding the Cougars' offense at bay. The southpaw scattered two hits and allowed two runs, while striking out nine. Frongello took the loss for the Wildcats, allowing two runs on three hits in 1-1/3 innings.
The Cougars return to action Saturday afternoon in game two of the series, taking on Davidson at 2:00 p.m.