DAVIDSON, N.C. - Senior RHP Kevin Decker (Washington, Ind./Seminole CC) tossed six strong innings, improving to 5-0 on the season and five different College of Charleston batters knocked home runs as the Cougars scored 11 unanswered runs on the way to an 11-3 Southern Conference victory over host Davidson Saturday afternoon at Wilson Field. CofC improves to 32-12 overall and 16-7 in the SoCon, while Davidson falls to 18-25, 5-18.
Davidson jumped out to an early lead in the first inning for the second straight game, plating a solo run in the opening frame on a RBI single by Drew Gadaire. And, for the second straight game, the Cougars surged ahead by scoring in five consecutive innings starting with a pair of runs in the third.
After a solo home run by junior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C./USC Sumter JC) knotted the game at 1-1, senior 2B Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) singled to right and stole second during the next at bat. Junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) followed with a RBI single to right, bringing home Bergman and give the Cougars a lead they would not relinquish.
A leadoff home run in the fourth by sophomore LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) gave CofC a 3-1 advantage, while Kral and sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) drilled back-to-back round-trippers to straightaway center in the fifth. Senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly R.I./ Lake City CC) began the sixth with a base on balls, stole second and scored on a RBI single to center by junior RF Baker Knox (San Mateo, Fla./Daytona Beach CC) to give Charleston a 6-1 after six complete.
The Cougars exploded for five runs in the seventh, highlighted by a three-run homer by Blake. Bergman led off the frame with a single to second, while junior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a passed ball and Davidson reliever Ian Horkley intentionally walked Leeds to load the bases. Rodriguez drew a bases-loaded walk on seven pitches to drive in a run and all three runs advanced on a wild pitch, scoring Rakar and putting runners at second and third for Blake's blast to right center, his 11th of the season.
Davidson plated a pair of runs in the ninth inning off junior reliever Heath Hembree (Cowpens, S.C./Spartanburg Methodist College). Michael Zeblo drew a bases-loaded walk, while Seth Freeman knocked a sacrifice foul fly to right.
Decker scattered six hits over the four innings, allowing one run and striking out seven. Kral and Blake each drove in three runs, while Knox had three hits on the afternoon. Davidson starter Chris Lamb gave up six runs on eight hits in 5-1/3 innings, striking out seven.
The Cougars and Davidson complete the three-game series Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN Radio 910-AM with Ted Byrne handling the play-by-play.