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Baseball Tops Georgia Southern to Force Rematch

Courtesy: CofCSports.com
          Release: 05/28/2011
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Sophomore LHP Jake Zokan
Courtesy: CofCSports.com
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CHARLESTON, S.C. – College of Charleston’s bats came alive in the fifth and sixth innings, as the Cougars would put up four runs in each inning en route to defeating Georgia Southern 9-1 in the 2011 Bennett Hospitality Southern Conference Baseball Championship presented by Carolina Ford Dealers.

The two teams will play again in an elimination game today at 5 p.m.  The winner will move on to face Samford tomorrow in the championship game at 2 p.m.   Live stats and video will be available on SoConSports.com.

No. 5 seed College of Charleston improves 39-21 on the year while fourth-seeded Georgia Southern falls to 34-23.

Starting pitcher Jake Zokan picked up the win for the Cougars to improve 4-2 after tossing a career-high 8.0 innings while giving up only one run on five hits and one walk.  Zokan also tied a career-high in strikeouts with seven strikeouts.

Matt Murray was charged with the loss for the Eagles and falls to 4-3 on the season.  Murray threw 5.0 innings and gave up four runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out four.

Charleston was led offensively by Rob Kral, who went 3-for-5 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs, including a homerun.  Marty Gantt also had a strong batting effort today, as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI.

College of Charleston’s offense started clicking in the fifth inning when the Cougars posted four runs on the board.  Jamie Holler started the inning with a single up the middle and proceeded to swipe second on an unsuccessful Georgia Southern pitch-out.  Kolby Epley successfully laid down a bunt single to put Cougars on the corners, and Rob Harding knocked in the first run on a sacrifice safety squeeze bunt.  Gantt continued his hot hitting with a single, sending Epley home.  After Gantt stole the second Cougar base of the inning, the first baseman moved to third on a groundout and proceeded to score on a Kral single.  Charleston would score one more run in the inning with a bases loaded walk to complete the offense attack.

The Cougars would push four more runs across in the sixth inning after loading the bases to begin the rally.  Matt Leeds brought home the first runs of the sixth with two-RBI single.  After the third run scored on an error on a failed pickoff attempt, Jose Rodriquez doubled down the left field line to score Leeds and move the Charleston lead to 8-0.

Georgia Southern avoided the shutout in the eighth inning with a pair of doubles from Ben Morgan and Scooter Williams to move the score to 8-1.

Kral knocked only the fourth homerun on the entire tournament as he hit a solo shot over the right field wall and pushed the lead back up to eight at 9-1.

Leading the way offensively for Georgia Southern was all-conference shortstop Eric Phillips, who went 2-for-4 at the plate with a double.

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