MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - Bryan Altman roped a bases-loaded double to key a five-run eighth inning as The Citadel rallied to steal the final game of the Southern Conference series against College of Charleston 6-3 Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point. The loss snaps the Cougars' seven-game winning streak and drops their overall record to 35-13 and 19-8 in the league.
Charleston opened the scoring in the third inning as senior 2B Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) ripped a triple down the right-field line and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by junior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando). The Citadel (30-19, 18-6 SoCon) tied the game in the top of the sixth on a RBI single to left by Matt Simonelli that plated William Ladd, who led of the frame with a double down the left-field line.
The Cougars pulled ahead in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs to take a 3-1 lead. Junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) drew a leadoff walk and sophomore LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) hit into a fielder's choice with Kral taken out at second. Senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC) then deposited a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right for his 13th round-tripper of the season and a two-run cushion. Rodriguez would finish the game 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 14 games.
The Citadel surged ahead with the five-run eighth, using four hits and one error to manufacture the runs. Ladd led off the frame with a single to third and advanced two bases on a throwing error by sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage). Nick Orvin reached on an infield single to third and Brad Felder was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Altman then laced a 0-1 pitch to deep right center, clearing the bases and advancing to third on the throw for a 4-3 Bulldog lead. Justin Mackert drew a five-pitch walk and stole second to put runners at second and third for David Greene, who hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Altman. Kyle Jordan kept thing rolling for The Citadel with a RBI single through the left side, scoring Mackert for the 6-3 lead.
Sophomore RHP David Peterson (Walnut Creek, Calif./Los Lomas) took the loss for Charleston, his first since March 12 against Samford, to fall to 7-3. Peterson tossed 7-1/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts. Blake and Bergman each had two hits for the Cougars.
Michael Clevinger picked up the win in relief for The Citadel, tossing three shutout innings and scattering two hits and fanning two. The Cougars touched Bulldog starter Austin Pritcher for three runs and five hits in six innings. Altman, Jordan and Ladd each had two hits for The Citadel.
Charleston returns to action Tuesday evening with a non-conference game against USC Upstate at Patriots Point. First pitch is set for 6:00 p.m.