MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Five College of Charleston batters had multi-hit efforts and junior RHP Josh Renfro (Bradenton, Fla.) struck out seven in seven innings as the Cougars scored 13 runs in the first two innings on the way to a 15-8 victory over Western Carolina Saturday afternoon in Southern Conference action at Patriots Point. The Cougars improve to 18-9 on the season, 5-3 in the SoCon and look for the sweep against WCU tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
Western Carolina scored the first run of the game on a RBI double to right by Ross Heffley in the top of the first. The Cougars exploded for six runs in the bottom of the first and added seven more in the second to open a 13-1 lead. Back-to-back singles by junior RF Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) and senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) opened the first and redshirt-junior DH Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) added a RBI single through the right side to get things going for Charleston. Two batters later, redshirt-freshman Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) launched a three-run home run to right field, his ninth of the season, for a 4-1 lead. Junior 3B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) followed with a single to right and senior C Robert Pritcher (Charleston, S.C.) roped a RBI double to right center, scoring Harding. Senior 2B Jesse Mesa (Miramar, Fla.) brought home Pritcher with a RBI single to right center for a 6-1 first inning advantage.
The Cougars continues to pour it on in the second, plating seven runs and batting around the order for the second straight frame. Rakar was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Kral deposited a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right for a two-run homer. Later, with the bases loaded, Pritcher was hit by a pitch to bring home another run. Mesa added a sacrifice fly to center and Rakar cleared the bases with a three-run double to left as Charleston opened a 13-1 lead.
Western Carolina scored a single run in the third and the Cougars answered with a run in the sixth on a RBI single by Mesa. The two teams traded solo runs in the eighth, the Catamounts scoring on a RBI single by Luke Gragg and Charleston taking a 15-3 lead on a RBI double by redshirt-freshman C Jimmy Holton (West Palm Beach, Fla.). Western Carolina scored five unearned runs in the ninth off Gantt, as two early errors help put runners on for a three-run homer by Dykota Spiess.
Renfro picked up his fifth win of the season, scattering five hits and allowing two runs in the seven innings. Rakar and Harding had three hits apiece, while Gantt, Kral and Aldrich added two hits for the Cougars, who pounded out 16 on the afternoon. Jordan Smith took the loss for Western Carolina, allowing eight runs on eight hits in one inning of work.