The Cougars (29-24, 16-11) held Georgia Southern (25-28, 13-15) to just two runs, despite allowing eight hits as the CofC defense and pitching stranded eight Eagle runners.
Jake Zokan (4-2) picked up the win for CofC as he scattered five hits through the first five and a third innings, allowing just one run. He struck out five batters and did not allow a walk. Derrick Smith allowed one run in two innings of relief, and Dre Watts earned his seventh save of the season, getting out of a jam in the eighth and pitching the ninth inning.
Wise blistered the ball all evening, knocking a solo home run to dead center field in his first at-bat. He finished with four hits, all of which drove in a total of five RBIs. His two-run double in the eighth inning with two outs added much-needed insurance to CofC’s 4-2 lead.
Blake Butler continued his hot hitting as he now has hits in 19 of his last 21 games. He tallied two singles and scored two runs. Morgan Phillips and Ben Boykin each tallied doubles, while Gunnar Heidt had two singles and an RBI.
Georgia Southern ace Justin Hess (4-6) suffered the loss as he gave up three runs in the first five innings, although he tallied nine strikeouts.
Chase Griffin had a double and a single for the Eagles, while local native Robbie Dodds and T.D. Davis each had RBIs.
All of CofC’s first three runs came by way of Wise and Butler. Wise homered in the first inning, and drove home Butler in the third and fifth innings.
The Eagles cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the sixth after a two-base wild pitch put Griffin at third and Davis drove him in with a sacrifice fly. The Cougars answered with their own sacrifice fly in the sixth frame when Welke drove in Phillips from third base, pushing it back to 4-1.
GSU made things interesting in the eighth inning with a single from Ben Morgan and another two-base wild pitch. Dodds singled him home with one out, and then advanced to second on a passed ball. However, Watts came in to get out of the inning with consecutive strikeouts.
Charleston added insurance runs in the eighth inning when Devon Reed laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Boykin and Alex Pastorius to second and third. Wise drove both runners in with a two-out double to left field. Heidt added another run with a single to center field and the Cougars had an insurmountable 7-2 lead.
Charleston will play Georgia Southern again tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Patriots Point. Ryan West will be on the mound for the Cougars against GSU’s Sam Howard.