MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – College of Charleston opened its weekend series against Rhode Island with a solid 7-3 victory, tallying 10 hits on offense and 11 strikeouts from the pitching staff.
The Cougars (4-1) extended their winning streak to three games, while the Rams (1-4) have now lost three in a row.
College of Charleston’s Nathan Helvey (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, going five innings and tying a career high with six strikeouts, allowing three runs on five hits. Chase Henry had another solid relief outing with four strikeouts and just one hit in three shutout innings. Michael Hanzlik (1) came in with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, but induced a liner and groundout to Blake Butler to end the game and earn the save.
Rhode Island’s Tyler Bowditch (0-1) picked up the loss in his second start of the year, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing seven runs, three earned.
Gunnar Heidt led College of Charleston with a two-run home run and four RBIs. Blake Butler tallied three hits and scored a run, while Nick Pappas scored two runs on two hits. Ryan Welke extended his on-base streak to five games with a single and a run.
Shane O’Connell led URI with two RBIs on a single and double. TJ Lynch also knocked a double and drove in a run.
The Cougars jumped on the board early on, scoring two unearned runs in the first inning after two URI errors. CofC loaded the bases in the second inning and scored two runs off a single from Pappas and walk from Heidt. Heidt added a two-run homer in the fourth inning to put CofC ahead, 6-1.
Rhode Island’s O’Connell cut the lead in half with a two-run double in the fifth inning to make it 6-3 CofC.
Butler and Pappas tallied hits in the sixth inning to set up a sacrifice fly RBI from Heidt, giving Charleston a 7-3 lead.
Rhode Island loaded the bases with three walks in the ninth inning, bringing the tying run to the plate with one out. However, Hanzlik came in from the bullpen and got Connor Foreman to line out to second and Martin Taveras to ground out to end the game.
College of Charleston goes for the series win over Rhode Island on Saturday afternoon. Game time is set for 3 p.m.