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Courtesy: Lee Jakobsen
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College of Charleston Travels To #30 Appalachian State
Release: 04/05/2012
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CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston (21-9, 11-4) will look to bounce back this weekend at SoCon-leading #30 Appalachian State (22-5, 7-2) after a tough mid-week defeat at the hands of #10 South Carolina, 7-0. The loss marked the first time that the Cougars have been shutout this season, as the Gamecock pitching staff allowed just four hits.

Ryan West picked up the loss for the Cougars, despite pitching well for five innings and allowing just two runs. No Cougar tallied more than one hit, despite run-scoring opportunities in the second and third innings.

The Cougars will look to turn things around in the Southern Conference after losing just their second conference series last weekend at Georgia Southern. Appalachian State and College of Charleston currently sit in first and second place, respectively, in the SoCon standings.

RHP #21 Ryan Arrowood, ASU, 4-0, 5.50 ERA, 17 BB, 41 K
LHP #19 Josh Renfro, CofC, 4-2, 3.05 ERA, 7 BB, 48 K

RHP #42 Seth Grant, ASU, 5-1, 2.42 ERA, 13 BB, 31 K
RHP #20 Christian Powell, CofC, 5-1, 1.51 ERA, 12 BB, 32 K

LHP #17 Rob Marcello, ASU, 4-1, 3.76 ERA, 11 BB, 23 K
RHP #22 Matt Pegler, CofC, 5-1, 2.11 ERA, 9 BB, 27 K

The Cougars hold a 33-9 edge over Appalachian State in the all-time series, taking two of three from the Mountaineers in last year's series in Mt. Pleasant.

Appalachian State has surprised many with its strong performances so far in 2012. ASU currently sits in first place in the conference with sweeps over The Citadel and Davidson. App State also earned non-conference wins over then-No. 7 LSU and Duke along with a close 6-4 loss at South Carolina.

ASU has three players hitting over .400, including SoCon Player of the Month Daniel Kassouf. Kassouf is hitting .409 with 10 HR and 33 RBI for a slugging percentage of .757. Will Callaway has a .406 average with 29 RBI and 16 stolen bases.

SoCon Pitcher of the Month Seth Grant has posted a 5-1 record with a 2.42 ERA and a complete game shutout on his resume. He has held opponents to a .215 batting average.

The Cougars currently lead the SoCon in pitching with a team ERA of 2.44 and an opposing batting average of just .216. The staff ERA ranks third nationally, while the Cougars are fifth in the NCAA in hits allowed per nine innings (6.93).

Christian Powell leads the league with an ERA of 1.51, which puts him ninth in the country. Matt Pegler is second in the Southern Conference with an ERA of 2.11.

David Peterson is tied for first place in the SoCon for saves with seven. That mark ranks 12th nationally.

Marty Gantt leads the conference and is eighth in the country in runs scored with 34 and is sixth in the SoCon in batting average (.385).

The Cougars are 11th in the NCAA in home runs per game with 1.04 per contest.

Marty Gantt has led the team all season in batting average after opening with a strong series at South Alabama. Gantt recently snapped a team-best 23-game reached base streak and a 10-game hitting streak. He has failed to get a hit in just four games this year.

Gantt has shown that he can hit for power and contact as he leads the team in batting average (.385), slugging percentage (.641), on-base percentage (.471), RBI (26), runs (34), stolen bases (13) and is second in home runs (5).

CofC senior lefty Josh Renfro has proven to be the master of the strikeout. Renfro ranks third in the conference in K's with 48 after two straight weeks with career-high 11-strikeout outings. Each time the Cougars get 12 strikeouts in a home game, the fans are treated to Kickin Chicken bucks. Renfro has helped Cougar fans win the promotion twice this season, and came one strikeout short on a third occasion.

College of Charleston's Saturday starter Christian Powell has proved to nearly unhittable this season. Powell enters the weekend with a league-best 1.51 ERA that also ranks ninth in the country. Powell has boasted three starting performances where he has not allowed an earned run and has one partial shutout this season.

College of Charleston sophomore Brandon Murray has been a power generator at the plate, blasting a team-best eight home runs and boasting a slugging percentage of .621, which puts him seventh in the conference. Murray was named the SoCon Player of the Week on March 26. He hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that led to the Cougars extra-inning win over CSU (3/27).

After splitting time in left field to begin the season, Murray has cemented a place in the heart of the lineup with his power and patience (team-best 18 walks) at the plate.

While the College of Charleston has based its 2012 reputation off of the strength of its pitching staff, the Cougars are still hitting for power in a big way. CofC leads the Southern Conference in team home runs with 31, a mark that currently ranks eighth in the country.

College of Charleston has seen power from a number of different bats as Brandon Murray (8), Marty Gantt (5) and Bradley Goodson (5) all have five or more long balls.

The College of Charleston baseball team has been helping to raise money for the St. Baldrick's Foundation which funds childhood cancer research.

As part of St. Baldrick's "Shaving Heads and Saving Lives" nationwide initiative, College of Charleston baseball players will be shaving their heads following the April 14 home game against Samford.

"We are very excited to be participating in St. Baldrick's this year," head coach Monte Lee said. "We encourage our student-athletes to find ways to give back to the community, and we believe in the purpose of this organization."

The St. Baldrick's Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives.

Senior Rob Harding has come through when it's counted this year. A team-best 13 of his 24 RBIs have come in 2-out situations. Harding leads the team with an average of .500 with runners in scoring position, and has successfully advanced runners over 50 percent of the time.

CofC games this season have largely been determined by the action in the first four innings. The Cougars are an impressive 16-1 when leading after the fourth inning and are 2-7 when trailing after the fourth inning.

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