Kral Lifts Baseball to 6-5 Walk-Off Victory Over UNC Greensboro
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Redshirt-junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) jumped on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the ninth, roping a two-run single into center field, giving the College of Charleston a 6-5 walk-off win over UNC Greensboro Saturday evening in Southern Conference action at Patriots Point. The win improves Charleston to 31-17 overall and 15-8 in the conference, evening the weekend series at a game apiece.
Down 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) drew a full-count walk and senior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C.) reached on a bunt single to first. Junior 1B Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt and Kral stroked the first pitch from UNCG reliever Dylan Hathcock into center as Harding and Holler raced home for the win.
Charleston jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the opening inning as Kral deposited a 2-0 pitch over the wall in right for his seventh homer of the season. UNCG tied the game in the top of the second on a RBI single by Cody Walker that plated Drew Gehringer.
The Cougars took a 3-1 lead in the sixth as Kral drew a full-count walk and with two outs, redshirt-freshman RF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) knocked his 20th home run of the season to give Charleston a two-run advantage. Aldrich jumped on a 1-0 pitch from UNCG starter Brandon Browne and it cleared the fence in right
UNCG chipped away at the Cougars’ lead with single run in the seventh and pulled ahead with three runs in the eighth for a 5-3 lead. A RBI double by Thomas Troelstrup that scored Brindle, who reached on a fielding error by Kral. In the eighth with two outs, Gehringer reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second. On a steal attempt to third, Kral threw the pickoff throw in the dirt, allowing Gehringer to score on the error. Eric Brindle reached on a fielding error by Harding, Andrew Spleth walked and Joe Hager reached on an infield single to load the bases. Troelstrup lined a two-run double up the middle to give the Spartans their first lead of the game.
Charleston cut into the deficit with a single run in the bottom of the eight on RBI double down the left-field line by redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) that scored Gantt to make the score 5-4 and setting up the ninth-inning rally.
Kral led the Cougars at the plate with three hits and three RBI, while redshirt-junior LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) added a pair of hits. Sophomore LHP Jake Zokan (Columbia, S.C.) earned the win for Charleston, recording the final two outs of the ninth. Junior starter David Peterson (Walnut Creek, Calif.) tossed eight innings, allowing five runs – one earned – on nine hits with five strikeouts.
The two teams close out the series Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Free admission is offered to all fans and the first 100 mothers will receive a special gift from College of Charleston Athletics.