MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Sophomore RHP Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C.) tied a career-high with eight strikeouts and scattered five hits over eight innings to lead the College of Charleston to a 15-3 victory over Western Carolina Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point. The Cougars outhit WCU 13-6 and complete the weekend sweep, improving to 19-9 overall and 6-3 in the Southern Conference.
Charleston scored three runs in both the first and second inning to jump out to an early 6-0 lead. Redshirt-junior 1B Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) provided the offense in the opening frame with a three-run home run to left, his sixth of the season. Senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) and redshirt-junior DH Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) both drew walks against WCU starter Adam Curtis to get on base for Rodriguez’s round-tripper. In the second, redshirt-freshman C Jimmy Holton (West Palm Beach, Fla.) doubled to left and Rakar knocked a RBI single to left for a 4-0 lead. After Kral’s second straight base on balls, redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) dropped a two-run double into left for his 42nd and 43rd RBIs of the season and a 6-0 Charleston lead.
Western Carolina plated a pair of unearned runs in the fourth off Powell, after a passed ball advanced runners to second and third with two outs and Adam Martin lined a two-run single to center. The Cougars picked up a run in the bottom of the frame as junior RF Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) scored on a fielding error by WCU 3B Austin Schultz for a 7-2 advantage.
The Cougars exploded for eight runs in the sixth, as the first six Charleston batters reached base and scored, while WCU used five relievers in the inning. Kral drilled a three-run double to right center to highlight the frame and five other Cougars collected RBIs in the inning and CofC pounded out seven hits.
WCU closed the scoring in the seventh with a RBI triple to left center by Cody Jones.
Powell improved to 3-0 on the season and allowed three runs, one earned with no walks. Gantt, Rakar, Leeds and Rodriguez all recorded multi-hit games, while Rodriguez had four RBIs. Curtis took the loss for WCU, allowing three runs on two hits in one inning of work.