WILMINGTON, N.C. – Redshirt-freshman LF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, including the deciding three-run triple in the fourth inning as the College of Charleston held on for a 6-5 non-conference victory over UNC Wilmington Wednesday evening at Brooks Field. The Cougars improve to 20-9 on the season and face local Southern Conference rival The Citadel this weekend for a three-game series.
UNC Wilmington opened the scoring with a single run in the bottom of the opening inning on a fielding error by Aldrich. Cameron Cockman was hit by a 2-0 pitch to lead off the frame and advanced to second on a wild pitch by senior RHP Robert Jeroszko (Greenville, S.C.). A single though the left side of the infield was mishandled by Aldrich and Cockman came around to score for a 1-0 UNCW lead.
The Cougars responded with a run in the top of the second to knot the score at 1-1 and plated another in the third to take a 2-1 lead. A RBI single by senior 2B Jesse Mesa (Miramar, Fla.) scored senior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C.) after Holler doubled to right center to knot the game at a run apiece. In the third, redshirt-junior DH Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) led off the inning with a single to right center and redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) followed with another single to right center, moving Kral to third. Aldrich roped a RBI single to shallow center to score Kral and give the Cougars the lead.
UNC Wilmington rallied in the third to score twice and take a 3-2 lead. Back-to-back singles provided the base runners and a RBI single to right by Andrew Cain scored Michael Bass and Cockman also came home as the throw from junior RF Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) was up the line and away from the plate.
Charleston exploded for four runs in the top of the fourth to take a 6-3 lead. Three straight walks issued to Gantt, senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) and Kral loaded the bases and with two outs and Aldrich drilled a bases-clearing triple down the right-field line to give Charleston a three-run advantage.
The Seahawks fought back for a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Cougars’ lead to 6-5. After a single up the middle by Hunter Ridge to lead off the inning, Ridge advanced to second on a passed ball by redshirt-freshman C Jimmy Holton (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and scored on a RBI single to left by Cain. A second passed ball by Holton moved Cain to second and an infield single by Drew Farber put runners at the corners. Bass drove a single up the middle to plate Cain and cut the Charleston lead to one.
Jeroszko turned in another solid outing for Charleston, scattering seven hits over five innings and allowing five runs, two earned. Junior Kyle Owings (Gilbert, S.C.) issued two walks in the ninth, but got Cain to ground into a game-ending double play to record his sixth save of the season.