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Cody Martinís Pinch-Hit Home Run Leads Cougars Over South Alabama

Courtesy: CofCSports.com
          Release: 02/17/2012
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Courtesy: CofCSports.com
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MOBILE, Ala. - Junior Cody Martin hit a three-run pinch-hit home run with two outs in the eighth inning to lead College of Charleston over South Alabama, 5-2, in the 2012 season opener at Stanky Field.

With the Cougars trailing 2-1 in the top of the eighth inning, senior Rob Harding and sophomore Brandon Murray were both hit by pitches with two out. Martin came up to the plate as a pinch hitter for catcher Jimmy Holton. In his first at-bat as a Cougar, Martin blasted the ball over the right field fence to give College of Charleston a 4-2 lead.

Harding opened the scoring for CofC in the top of the sixth as he drove in senior Marty Gantt with a single to left. Harding finished with a 1-for-3 day with a run and RBI. Gantt went 2-of-4 with two runs and a walk.

The Jaguars took their only lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth, plating two runs off a two-out error from Bradley Goodson.

Senior Josh Renfro got the start for College of Charleston and kept the Jaguars off the board until the bottom of the sixth inning. Renfro did not earn a decision but gave up only two runs, none earned, and only four hits while striking out eight batters in 5.2 innings pitched. The eight strikeouts were one away from Renfro's career high of nine set last season.

Senior Kyle Owings pitched the seventh inning to earn his first win of the season for the Cougars. Classmate David Peterson came in for his first save opportunity of his career and kept the Jaguars off the board in the eighth and ninth innings.

"It was an overall great effort by our guys," said head coach Monte Lee. "The two heroes of the night were Renfro, who was outstanding on the mound, and Martin with his pinch-hit home run. We played solid defensively with just the one error leading to their two runs. David Peterson did a great job of coming in his first career save opportunity and finishing the game."

South Alabama's Kyle Bartsch took the loss for the Jaguars after starter Jarron Cito went 5.1 innings pitched, giving up only one run, unearned, and striking out nine batters.

The top of CofC's lineup, consisting of junior Bradley Goodson, junior Tyler Jackson and Gantt, combined for six hits and reached base nine times on the night.

Redshirt-sophomore Daniel Aldrich earned his first RBI of the season, adding an insurance run in the top of the ninth by doubling in Gantt.

College of Charleston will play the second game of the series on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. Junior Christian Powell is slated to start for the Cougars against South Alabama's Payton Gardner.

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