ELON, N.C. – Sophomore RHP Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C.) tossed eight strong innings, holding Elon University to one run on four hits with seven strikeouts to lead the College of Charleston to a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix Sunday afternoon in Southern Conference action at Latham Park. The Cougars improve to 23-14 overall and 8-7 in the SoCon.
Charleston jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the opening frame. Junior 1B Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) led off with a single to right, stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.). A RBI single to second by redshirt-junior DH Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) plated Gantt for a 1-0 lead. Kral moved to second on a throwing error by Elon starter Kyle Webb on a pickoff attempt and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) drove home Kral with a groundout to first for his 52nd RBI and a 2-0 CofC lead.
Elon cut the Cougars’ lead in half with a run in the bottom of the first on a RBI single to left by Alex Swim that scored Eric Serra from second. Charleston got the run back in the top of the second on a RBI single to right by Gantt that brought home junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.), who got on base when he was hit by a pitch.
The Cougars added another run in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Gantt led off the inning with a full-count walk, stole second and moved to third on a single to left center by Rakar. A sacrifice fly to deep center by Kral plated Gantt for the Cougars’ final run.
Gantt, Kral and Leeds each collected two hits for the Cougars, who out-hit Elon 10-5. Senior RHP Casey Lucchese (Lexington, Ky.) tossed the ninth to pick up his first save of the season, allowing one hit and one walk with one strikeout. Webb took the loss for Elon, giving up four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in four innings.
Charleston hosts defending national champion South Carolina Tuesday evening at The Ballpark at Patriots Point. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. and the game can be broadcast live on Sports Radio 1450 AM. Jeff McCarragher will handle the play-by-play.