MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Five Georgia Southern batters had multi-hit performances and the Eagles used a pair of four-run innings to defeat the College of Charleston 11-7 Friday evening in Southern Conference action at Patriots Point. The Cougars fall to 15-8 on the season, 2-2 in the SoCon and face Georgia Southern tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in game two of the series.
Georgia Southern jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning on a RBI bunt single by Tom Richardson that scored Victor Roche from third. The Cougars however, rallied in the bottom of the frame with four runs to take a 4-1 lead. Redshirt-junior LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) led off with a single to right center and advanced to third on a double down the right-field line by senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.). Rodriguez would score on a passed ball, moving Rakar to third. Redshirt-senior 1B Ryan Daniels (Victoria, Texas) knocked a sacrifice fly to deep right to plate Rakar and give the Cougars a 2-1 advantage. Senior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C.) followed up with a double to left and junior RF Maty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) walked to set up a two-run double to right center by redshirt-junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) for the 4-1 lead after two.
That lead quickly evaporated as the Eagles scored four runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to pull ahead by a 9-4 margin. Shawn Payne lined a two-run single up the middle in the fourth and added a two-run double in the fifth to pace Georgia Southern.
Charleston scored a single run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly to center by Rakar that plated Kral to cut the deficit to 9-5, but Georgia Southern answered with two more runs in the top of the sixth to stake an 11-5 lead. The Cougars completed the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI triple by Holler and a RBI double by Gantt.
Holler provided a spark of offense for the Cougars, collecting three hits and scoring twice. Kral picked up three walks and a pair of RBIs. Junior RHP David Peterson (Walnut Creek, Calif.) took the loss, as he was tagged for five runs on six hits in four innings with three walks and three strikeouts. Sophomore RHP Dre Watts (Laurens, S.C.) allowed six runs over one inning of relief, while senior RHP Casey Lucchese (Lexington, Ky.) tossed four solid shutout innings, allowing one hit and struck out six.
Redshirt-freshman DH Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) went 0-for-3 on the evening, seeing his hitting streak come to an end at 17 games.
Richardson led the Eagles with three hits, while Payne added two hits and four RBIs. Chris Beck earned the win, allowing five runs on six hits in five innings with four strikeouts. Matt Murray picked up his third save, scattering two hits over 3-2/3 shutout innings with five strikeouts.