MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Redshirt-freshman LF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) had three hits and senior 2B Jesse Mesa (Mirimar, Fla.) added three RBIs to lead #20 College of Charleston to an 8-6 win over visiting Marshall University in the final game of the CofC Invitational Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point. The Cougars improve to 3-0 on the season, while Marshall falls to 2-1.
Marshall took advantage of a pair of Cougar errors to jump out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Ben Jurevicius reached on a throwing error by Mesa and Nathan Gomez walked, Thor Meeks cleared the bases with a double to left off Charleston senior starter Josh Salay (Rock Hill, S.C.).
The Cougars rallied back to knot the score at two with runs in the first and second frames. Senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) doubled down the left-field line to start the first inning, advanced to second on a single by redshirt-junior Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by junior RF Marty Gantt (North Augusta, S.C.). Back-to-back doubles to lead off the second by Aldrich and Mesa tied the game at two runs apiece.
The Thundering Herd pulled ahead again in the third, plating a pair of unearned runs off Salay for a 4-2 lead. Issac Ballou reached on a fielding error by Mesa and stole second. A RBI single to right by Jurevisius plated Ballou and after a pair of walks by Cougar reliever Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C.) Jurevisius scored on a wild pitch by the sophomore right-hander.
CofC responded in the fifth with four runs to take the lead for good. Rakar was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and after Kral and Gantt were retired the Cougars plated four two-out runs for a 6-4 lead. Redshirt-juniors 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) and 1B Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) both walked and Aldrich ripped a two-run single through the right side, while Mesa collected two RBIs with a triple down the right-field line.
Charleston added two more runs in the sixth on a sacrifice fly to center by Kral and a RBI double by Rodriguez to take a 8-4 advantage. Marshall cut the deficit to 8-5 in the seventh on a RBI single by Gomez and added another run in the top of the ninth on a solo homer by Kenny Socorro.
Powell earned the win for the Cougars, tossing 3-2/3 shutout innings and allowing two hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Gantt came on to toss the ninth for his first save of the season. Arik Sikula took the loss for Marshall, allowing six runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and two walks.
The Cougars host UNC Wilmington Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Patriots Point in a non-conference matchup. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. Senior RHP Robert Jeroszko (Greenville, S.C.) will take the mound for the Cougars.