Athlete of the Week

Balanced Attack Gives Baseball 7-4 Victory Over Appalachian State

Courtesy: CofCSports.com
          Release: 05/13/2011
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Freshman DH Brandon Murray
Courtesy: CofCSports.com
MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – Junior starting LHP Josh Renfro (Bradenton, Fla.) scattered five hits over seven innings and the College of Charleston used a balanced offensive attack to take a 7-4 victory over visiting Appalachian State University Friday evening in Southern Conference action at Patriots Point. The Cougars improve to 33-17 overall and 16-9 in the SoCon.

Charleston jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second when freshman DH Brandon Murray (Nassau, Bahamas) tripled down the right-field line and senior CF Cole Rakar (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) laced a sacrifice fly to shallow center, with Murray beating the throw to the plate. App State plated two runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Jeremy Dowdy led off the frame with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Trey Holmes. Hector Crespo lined a single into left field that bounced in front of redshirt-junior LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla.) and skipped past Rodriguez, advancing Crespo to third and scoring Dowdy to tie the game at one run apiece. Tyler Zupcic followed with a single to center, scoring Crespo and giving the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead.

The Cougars plated a pair in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead at 3-2. Redshirt-freshman RF Daniel Aldrich (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) opened the inning with a double to left center and advanced to third on a single to right by Rodriguez. Murray lined a RBI single into right to score Aldrich and move Rodriguez to second. After a pair of fielder’s choices and a walk to senior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C.) loaded the bases with two outs, junior 1B Marty Gantt (N. Augusta, S.C.) watched four straight balls from Appalachian starter Ryan Arrowood to force in Murray from third.

Appalachian (28-22, 12-13) continued the seesaw battle in the fifth, scoring twice to take a 4-3 lead. Crespo led off with a single off the outstretched glove of redshirt-junior 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla.) and stole second. Zupcic was hit by a pitch by Renfro and a sacrifice bunt by Jack Myers moved both runners into scoring position. A sacrifice fly to right by Will Callaway brought home Crespo and a RBI double by Daniel Kassouf scored Zupcic for a 4-3 lead.

Charleston scored a run in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game and tallied three more runs in the sixth for a 7-4 lead. Leeds doubled down the left-field line to open the fifth, advanced to third on a groundout by Aldrich and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Rodriguez. In the sixth, junior 2B Rob Harding (Columbia, S.C.) and Holler hit back-to-back singles with one out. Another out later, redshirt-junior C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J.) ripped a two-run triple down the right-field line and would score on the play as the cutoff throw from Crespo got by Zack Briggs at third, allowing Kral to cross the plate and giving the Cougars a three-run lead. 

Renfro picked up his eighth win of the season, improving to 8-2. The southpaw gave up four runs – three earned – and struck out two with one walk. Senior RHP Casey Lucchese (Lexington, S.C.) earned his fourth save of the season in relief, allowing one hit over two innings with three strikeouts. Murray, Leeds and Holler collected two hits apiece for the Cougars, while Kral had two RBIs. Arrowood took the loss for App State, his second of the season, falling to 7-2. Arrowood allowed seven runs on nine hits over 5-2/3 innings.

Charleston hosts Appalachian for game two of the three-game series tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. and can be heard on ESPN Radio 910-AM with Jeff McCarragher calling the play-by-play. The Cougars will host Wall of Fame Day before the game at 2:45 p.m., honoring former Cougars Brett Anderson, Bryon Barber, Dr. Philip Coker and Josh McLaughlin.

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