MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Senior RHP Robert Jeroszko (Greenville, S.C.) struck out a career-high seven batters and redshirt-junior 1B Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) knocked in the winning run with the bases loaded in the 12th inning as #19 College of Charleston defeated UNC Wilmington 5-4 Tuesday evening at Patriots Point. The Cougars remain undefeated at 4-0 on the season and UNCW falls to 1-3.
Senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) reached on a fielding error to lead off the 12th and advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt. Rakar moved to third on a groundout to second by freshman LF Brandon Murray (Nassau, Bahamas) and UNCW intentionally walked junior RF Marty Gantt (North Augusta, S.C.) and Redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) to load the bases and set up Rodriguez’s 1-1 count heroics.
UNCW jumped to a 1-0 lead in the second inning as Andrew Cain reached on a fielding error by Rodriguez and Hunter Ridge doubled to left, putting runner at second and third. With one out, Cameron Cockman drove home a run with a RBI groundout to short and a 1-0 Seahawk lead.
The Cougars knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the third frame on a sacrifice fly to center by redshirt-freshman LF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.). After three straight base on balls were issued by UNCW starter Ryan Leach, Aldrich lofted a 0-2 pitch to deep center to score Gantt from third.
In the sixth, CofC plated a pair of runs to grab a 3-1 lead. Senior 2B Jesse Mesa (Mirimar, Fla.) was hit by a pitch and back-to-back singles by senior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C.) and redshirt-freshman C Jimmy Holton (West Palm Beach, Fla.) to load the bases for the top of the order. Rakar hit into a fielder’s choice and redshirt-junior Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) struck out before Gantt ripped a two-out single up the middle to score Holler and Holton.
The Seahawks rallied to score a single run in the seventh and took a 4-3 lead with two runs in the eighth. Pinch-hitter David Shambley roped a RBI single down the left-field line to cut the Cougars’ lead to 3-2 and Cockman drilled a two-run double down the right-field line to give UNCW a 4-3 lead. Leeds knotted the score at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth with a RBI single up the middle that scored Kral from second.
Sophomore RHP Matt Pegler (Greenville, S.C.) earned the win for the Cougars, tossing the 12th inning and recording one strikeout. Holler finished with three hits for CofC.
The Cougars host Horizon League member Youngstown State for a three-game series starting Friday, Feb. 25 at Patriots Point. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m.; while Saturday and Sunday are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. starts.