MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – College of Charleston’s Brandon Murray hit a game-winning single up the middle to score Blake Butler and the Cougars took their first walk-off victory of the season on Friday, 5-4, over Marist.
After Marist (2-7) tied the game in the sixth inning, the Cougars (8-1) had base-runners in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but could not retake the lead. It took three consecutive singles in the ninth, including Murray’s game-winner, for the Cougars to plate a run and take the victory.
College of Charleston has now won seven games in a row as the Cougars have opened every weekend series with a win.
Chase Henry (1-0) earned his first career victory with a tremendous relief performance. He ended the Red Foxes’ rally in the sixth inning and pitched through the ninth inning, striking out five batters without allowing a hit or a walk. For the season, Henry is now 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 12.1 innings pitched with 16 strikeouts and no walks.
Sophomore Nathan Helvey got the start for CofC and did not record a decision, despite a CofC lead after his departure. Helvey went five innings and did not record an out in the sixth frame, allowing two runs on seven hits.
Marist’s Ryan Thomas (0-1) gave up the loss with all three hits in the ninth inning. Starter Jordan Eich went five innings and allowed four runs, three earned, with five strikeouts.
Butler led the Cougar offense as he tied a career high with four hits. He tallied three runs and an RBI, touching home plate in the ninth inning to end the game. Playing in his first game in the leadoff spot, Alex Pastorius scored two runs on one hit, while Nick Pappas and Brandon Glazer each tallied two hits. Carl Wise tallied his team-best 12th RBI, including his eighth with two outs.
Marist was led by Zach Passerelle who hit a solo homer and scored two runs. Joey Aiola drove in two runs with a double.
Charleston took a 2-0 lead in the third inning after two Marist errors, allowing runs from Pastorius and Butler. Passerelle cut the lead in half with his solo homer in the fourth, but CofC regained control with two runs in the fifth on an RBI double from Butler and two-out RBI single from Wise.
The Red Foxes tied the game in the sixth inning with three straight hits, including two doubles off reliever Marlin Morris from Passerelle and Aiola. Henry came into the game and quickly recorded two outs, but a wild pitch allowed Aiola to score from third and tie the game.
CofC had a scoring opportunity in the eighth inning with runners on the corners and none out, but Ryan Welke struck out and CofC’s double-steal attempt was foiled as Pappas was put out at home.
Butler led off the ninth with a single and then went to third on a single by Heidt to right field, setting up Murray’s walk-off heroics.
The Cougars and Red Foxes go at it again on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
-The win extended College of Charleston’s winning streak to seven games. The Cougars last won seven in a row back in the 2011 season. CofC’s best start came in 2007 when the Cougars went 12-1 before losing their second game of the season.
-Blake Butler has reached base in every game in 2014, sporting a team-best batting average of .421 with 10 runs scored. Ben Boykin took over in the DH spot in the second half of the game and extended his hitting streak to seven games with a single.
-College of Charleston picked up its first walk-off win of the season on Friday. Last year, College of Charleston walked it off on three occasions.