MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – #2 South Carolina used a four-run seventh inning to pull away from the College of Charleston and defeat the Cougars 8-3 Tuesday evening at Patriots Point in front of a sellout crowd of 1, 719. Charleston falls to 23-15, while the Gamecocks improve to 29-7.
The Cougars jumped on the board in the bottom of the first when senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) singled up the middle and scored on a RBI double to center by redshirt-junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) for the early 1-0 lead.
South Carolina answered with three runs in the top of the second to take a 3-1 lead. Back-to-back singles by Brady Thomas and Greg Broszinski and a walk by Peter Mooney loaded the bases with one out and Robert Beary knocked a two-run single through the left side. Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a single to right to plate Mooney and give the Gamecocks a two-run advantage.
Charleston knotted the score at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Redshirt-freshman Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) hit a solo home run, his 12th of the season, to center field to lead off the frame, while senior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C.) roped a RBI single through the right side to score junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) from third.
The Gamecocks pulled ahead for good with a single run in the fourth on a RBI single by Scott Wingo. A four-run seventh inning added some insurance runs for the defending national champions as a two-run single by Adrian Morales and a two-run double by Mooney did the damage for South Carolina and put away any late-game chances for the Cougars.
Bryan Harper picked up the win in relief for South Carolina, tossing 2-1/3 no-hit innings and walking four with three strikeouts. Thomas, Mooney and Beary each had two RBIs for the Gamecocks, who out-hit the Cougars 10-7.
Sophomore LHP Jake Zokan (Columbia, S.C.) took the loss for the Cougars, allowing four runs on six hits in 3-1/3 innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Holler had a pair of base hits to lead the Charleston offense.
Charleston returns to action tomorrow evening as it travels to Spartanburg to face USC Upstate at 6:00 p.m.