MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Sophomore LHP Jake Zokan (Columbia, S.C.) pitched seven strong innings and the College of Charleston used three Citadel errors to defeat the Bulldogs 7-1 in non-conference action Tuesday evening at Patriots Point. The Cougars improve to 32-17, while The Citadel falls to 20-28.
The Citadel broke through first, scoring a single run in the third for a 1-0 lead. Josh Pless singled through the right side and advanced to third on a throwing error by redshirt-junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) that sailed over the head of junior 1B Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) and into right field. Pless would later score on a sacrifice fly to center by Nick Orvin.
Kral would make amends for the error in the fourth, knotting the score at 1-1 with a solo homer run to right-center, his eighth of the season. Charleston would take a 2-1 lead in the fifth as senior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C.) hit a two-out single to center and stole second. Gantt knocked a slow grounder to third and Bulldog 3B Drew DeKerlegand’s throw to first was in the dirt and rolled into foul territory, allowing Holler to score for the 2-1 lead.
Charleston plated five runs in the eighth for a 7-1 lead and with all the runs coming with two outs in the inning. Redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) walked to open the frame and stole second. After one out, Leeds advanced to third on a wild pitch by Citadel reliever TJ Clarkson and with two away, Leeds scored when redshirt-senior PH Ryan Daniels (Victoria, Texas) reached on a fielding error by Citadel 1B Justin Mackert. LHP David Leeth came on to pitch for the Bulldogs and senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) reached on a fielder’s choice to short. An RBI single by junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) plated another run before the two teams sat through a 38-minute lightning delay.
When play resumed, the Cougars’ offense picked up where it left off. Holler ripped a two-run double to left and Gantt cleaned up the bases with a RBI double down the left-field line to close the scoring. Senior RHP Casey Lucchese (Lexington, S.C.), who entered the game in the eighth with the score 2-1, tossed a perfect ninth to finish the game and earn his third save of the season, allowing one hit over two innings with four strikeouts.
Zokan improved to 2-1 on the season, scattering five hits over the seven innings and striking out five. The southpaw allowed one run, an unearned run in the third. Holler collected three hits on the evening, with two RBIs and scoring twice.
Bryce Hines suffered the loss for The Citadel, falling to 4-4 despite recording nine strikeouts in five innings. Hines allowed two runs – one earned – on four hits and walked none.
Charleston returns to SoCon action this weekend as it hosts Appalachian State for a three-game series. Friday’s first pitch is set for 6:00 p.m. and all three games can be heard on ESPN Radio 910-AM with Jeff McCarragher calling the play-by-play. The Cougars will host Wall of Fame Day on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and honor their seniors on Senior Day before Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. contest.