CHARLESTON, S.C. – Redshirt-freshman LF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a two-run home run to lead the College of Charleston to a 10-5 Southern Conference victory over The Citadel Sunday afternoon at Riley Park. The win gave Cougars head coach Monte Lee his 100th career victory and improved CofC to 21-11 on the season, 7-5 in the SoCon and face Charleston Southern in a home-and-home midweek series starting Tuesday afternoon at CSU.
The Cougars jumped on the scoreboard early, as leadoff hitter junior RF Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) drilled a 3-2 pitch to straightaway center field for a 1-0 lead. Charleston added three more runs in the second to take a 4-0 lead. Aldrich singled to center to lead off the frame and advanced to third on a single by redshirt-junior LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) that was misplayed by Bulldog RF Williams Ladd, allowing Rodriguez to move to second. After a walk by junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) and a fielder’s choice by senior C Robert Pritcher (Charleston, S.C.), Gantt cleared the bases with a double to deep right field giving the Cougars a 4-0 advanatge.
Charleston expanded the lead to 6-0 in the third on a two-run homer to right by Aldrich, his 11th of the season. Redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) led off the frame with a double to left on a 1-2 pitch and Aldrich deposited a 1-1 offering from Citadel starter Justin Russell into the trees in right for his 36th and 37th RBIs of the season.
A pair of two-run innings in the fourth and fifth gave the Cougars a 10-0 lead to work with. In the fourth, Gantt drew a full-count walk and senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) reached on a fielder’s choice, when Gantt beat the throw to second. A base on balls to Leeds loaded the bases for Aldrich, who lined a double down the left-field line to score Gantt and Rakar. A single to center by Pritcher got things going in the fifth, while a walk by Rakar and a wild pitch by Bulldog reliever Drew Mahaffey put runners at second and third. Redshirt-junior DH Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) lined a two-run double to right to plate Pritcher and Rakar, spotting the Cougars a 10-run lead.
The Citadel rallied back scoring five runs in the final three innings, but Charleston starting sophomore RHP Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C.) and fellow sophomore LHP Jake Zokan (Columbia, S.C.) held off the final attack. The Bulldogs got a pair of two-run homers from Brad Felder in the seventh and ninth and a solo shot by Drew DeKerlegand in the eighth to cut into the final margin of victory.
Powell turned in another strong outing, scattering six hits and allowing three runs in eight innings with five strikeouts. Gantt finished with three hits, while Rodriguez added two for the Cougars, who out-hit The Citadel 13-10. Russell took the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing six runs on six hits in two innings of work.
The Cougars face Charleston Southern at Buccaneer Field Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Senior RHP Casey Lucchese (Lexington, Ky.) will get the start for Charleston, while senior RHP Robert Jeroszko (Greenville, S.C.) will take the mound for the Cougars when they host CSU at Patriots Point Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.