SPARTANBURG, S.C. – A four-run fourth inning turned the tide for the College of Charleston as the Cougars took the lead and held on for a 7-5 victory over Wofford College Sunday afternoon in Southern Conference action at Russell C. King Field. The Cougars complete the weekend sweep to improve to 30-15 on the season and 14-7 in the SoCon, while Wofford falls to 19-25, 6-15.
Wofford jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, its first lead of the series. Clark Wise was hit by a 3-2 pitch to lead off the frame and was forced out at second on fielder’s choice bunt by James Foster. Mac Doyle singled through the left side to move Foster to third and after Doyle stole second, Josh McKinney walked to load the bases. A two-run single off Charleston sophomore starter Christian Powell (Greenwood, S.C.) by David Roney gave the Terriers a 2-0 lead and Landon Bennett’s swinging bunt single to third plated McKinney for the third run.
The Terriers extended their lead to 4-0 in the second on a RBI double by Doyle that scored Alex Lee from second. Charleston cut into the deficit with a run in the third. Junior 1B Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) walked on four straight pitches and redshirt-junior DH Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) singled to right, advancing Gantt to third. Redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) hit a sacrifice fly to deep left, scoring Gantt and making the score 4-1 Wofford.
Charleston broke through the fourth, scoring four runs off Wofford starter Tom Dolinak and taking a 5-4 lead. Redshirt-junior LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) led off the inning with a solo home run to left, his ninth of the season. After one out was recorded, junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) doubled to center and advanced to third on a passed ball. Senior C Robert Pritcher (Charleston, S.C.) walked and Gantt lined a RBI single to short, scoring Harding. Kral singled to right and Pritcher scored to tie the game on a muffed throw by the shortstop attempting to tag Gantt at second. The Cougars took the lead on a RBI single to right by Leeds that brought home Gantt.
The Cougars pulled ahead by two runs with a single tally in the fifth for a 6-4 lead. With Jesse Morris in for Dolinak, senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) singled up the middle and advanced to second on a groundout by Harding. Holler hit a grounder to third and the throw to first was off-line, getting past Diamaduros and allowing Rakar to score on the error.
Wofford made things interesting in the seventh, scoring a run off junior reliever Kyle Owings (Gilbert, S.C.) to cut the Charleston lead to 6-5. Owings gave up a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases and then uncorked a wild pitch to score Doyle from third. After giving up another walk to reload the bases, Owing struck out Eric Brenk to end the threat.
Kral gave the Cougars an insurance run in the top of the ninth with a solo home run to right, his sixth of the season. Powell (6-1) earned the win for Charleston, scattering seven hits over six innings and allowing four runs with six strikeouts. Redshirt-junior Nick Osterman (Goose Creek, S.C.) tossed 1-1/3 no-hit innings to pick up his second save of the season. Kral finished with three hits to lead the Cougars on the afternoon.
Dolinak (3-5) took the loss for Wofford, allowing five runs on eight hits in four innings. Doyle had three hits for the Terriers.
The Cougars return to action next weekend as they host UNC Greensboro for a key three-game SoCon series at Patriots Point. Friday’s first pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. with Saturday’s game time at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.