GREENVILLE, S.C. – College of Charleston’s 2013 Southern Conference Tournament ended in consecutive games as the Cougars fell to Elon, 18-8, in the first elimination game of the tournament on Thursday afternoon at Fluor Field.
The Phoenix (27-28) scored 18 runs on 19 hits, including an eight-run fifth inning, to advance in the loser’s bracket and end Charleston’s (31-26) final run in the SoCon Tournament. The Cougars had entered the loser's bracket after falling to Georgia Southern, 2-0, earlier in the day.
Neither starting pitcher lasted long as Elon starter Nate Young was pulled in the first inning and CofC’s Ryan West (4-3) only went two innings and allowed five earned runs, including two home runs in the third inning. Drew Freie, Blake Ross, Griffin Jones, Player Loving and Nathan Helvey all made appearances and allowed earned runs.
Elon’s Spencer Medick (7-6) picked up the win, going 8.1 innings in relief to finish the game. He ended up allowing eight CofC runs with 13 hits, striking out five.
“We pitched really well in the first game, and couldn’t get a hit,” head coach Monte Lee said. “And then we hit the ball pretty well, but couldn’t shut them down in the second game. Give Elon credit for hitting it well and putting up some big innings on us. Allowing big innings was very uncharacteristic of the way we’ve played this year.”
CofC’s Carl Wise led the way with two home runs, his second multiple-home run game in the last week. He had a perfect 4-for-4 performance with four runs and four RBIs. Gunnar Heidt, Brandon Murray, Ben Boykin and Morgan Phillips all finished with multiple hits and an RBI.
Elon’s Sebastian Gomez led the Phoenix with five RBIs on a home run and a bases-loaded double. Ryan Kinsella hit a three-run homer and finished with four RBIs, while Quinn Bower hit a three-run homer.
After Elon scored only one run after loading the bases with no out in the first inning, the Cougars took a lead in the bottom of the frame with a two-run homer from Wise. Charleston lost a run later in the inning after the Cougars were tagged with batting out of order.
Wise continued his power hitting to left with another two-run bomb in the bottom of the second inning, pushing the Cougar lead to 4-1.
Elon retook the lead and went ahead for good with a four-run third inning, using a three-run homer from Kinsella and a solo shot from Gomez to go ahead 5-4.
The Phoenix then opened up the game with eight runs in the fifth inning, using seven singles and a three-run double from Gomez. Elon’s Bower hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to push the margin to 16-4.
Charleston scored three runs in the seventh inning with RBI hits from Murray, Boykin and Phillips, but the rally was not enough to catch Elon and CofC eventually fell 18-8.
College of Charleston ends the season with a 31-26 record in the school’s final season in the Southern Conference before entering the Colonial Athletic Association in 2013-14.
CofC leaves the league after posting a league record of 286-148 through 15 seasons, the second-highest winning percentage in that time frame. Charleston baseball won five SoCon championships and made five NCAA Regional appearances while in the league.