BOONE, N.C. - Sophomore LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, four RBI and four runs scored as College of Charleston scored 12 runs over the final six innings for a 13-1 victory over Appalachian State in game one of a Southern Conference doubleheader at Smith Stadium. The Cougars scored nine runs in the first two innings of game two to complete the sweep of the Mountaineers with a 9-1 victory in seven innings. Charleston improved to 39-14 overall and completes the SoCon regular season with a 22-8 mark, the program's best conference record since 2005.
Charleston raced to a 13-0 lead in game one before Appalachian State plated a run in the bottom of the ninth to avoid the shutout. The Cougars opened the onslaught with a single run in the second on a leadoff home run to left by Rodriguez, his 13th of the season. CofC upped the lead to 4-0 with three runs in the fourth. With the bases-loaded and two outs, junior RF Hutson Dodds (Charleston, S.C./Porter Gaud) struck out, but reached on a wild pitch as Rodriguez came home to score. The Cougars made the mistake count as junior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C./USC Sumter JC) followed up with a two-run single to left.
After a double to right by sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) with one out in the fifth, Rodriguez blasted his second round-tripper of the game. The sophomore deposited a 2-0 pitch over the fence in left center for a 6-0 lead. Charleston plated a run in the sixth on a solo homer by senior 2B Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny), his third of the season, for a seven-run cushion.
The Cougars scored two runs in each of the final three innings to take a 13-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth. Sophomore PH Thomas Brittle (Cross, S.C./Berkeley) hit a RBI double and Holler added a RBI single in the seventh, while Rodriguez and freshman DH Dre Watts (Laurens, S.C./Laurens) knocked RBI singles in the eighth. A two-run single by Leeds in the ninth finished the scoring for CofC. Appalachian State plated a single run in the bottom of the last frame as Wes Hobson led off with a triple off Charleston freshman reliever Jake Zokan (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) and scored when Frankie Lewis hit into a double play.
Senior RHP Kevin Decker (Washington, Ind./Seminole CC) improved to 7-0 on the season with the win in game one. Decker tossed seven shutout innings, scattering three hits and striking out four. Six Cougars collected two hits apiece as the team pounded out 17 base hits in the game. Holler added three RBI, while Leeds knocked in two.
In game two, the Cougars roared out to a 5-0 lead in the first, before freshman starter Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood) even took the mound. Bergman led off the game with a single to center and junior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C./Wando) walked on four straight pitches before Leeds reached on catcher's interference. Senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC) drew a bases-loaded walk on six pitches, while Rodriguez lined a RBI single up the middle to score Rakar and send ASU starter Nathan Hyatt to the bench in favor of Will Helms. Watts drew the second bases-loaded walk of the inning and Brittle reached on a fielder's choice that scored Blake and Rodriguez also came home on a fielding error by Hobson.
Charleston plated four more runs in the top of the third, scoring on a RBI single by Rakar, a RBI double by redshirt-sophomore C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph) and a pair of runs on a single to center by Leeds. ASU broke through in the fifth, scoring their lone run on a RBI groundout by Ryan Stetson.
Powell picked up his sixth win of the season, tossing five innings and allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts and four walks. Rakar, Kral and Rodriguez each had two hits for the Cougars. Hyatt took the loss for ASU, allowing five run, three earned, on two hits with two walks in a third of an inning.
The Cougars return to action with a non-conference tilt at #4 Coastal Carolina Tuesday night. The game will be played at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and first pitch is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.