MT. PLEASANT, S.C. – College of Charleston’s Taylor Clarke posted his fourth quality start of the season and added to his league-best win total as the Cougars down Delaware, 6-2, on Friday night.
The Cougars (22-11, 5-2) scored three runs in the third inning and never looked back as Charleston won its fourth straight CAA contest.
Clarke (7-2) went eight innings, a new career-long performance, as he scattered five hits and two runs while striking out six batters. He did not walk a batter in CofC’s eighth quality start in the last 13 games. Michael Hanzlik came in for the ninth inning in a non-save situation, allowing a hit but then striking out two batters to close the door on the Blue Hens.
Charleston’s offense was led by Gunnar Heidt who went 3-for-3 with two walks, scoring two runs and driving in a run. Carl Wise knocked three singles and drove in two runs, while Champ Rowland had two hits and two runs scored.
Ryan Welke hit his second home run of the season, a solo bomb to dead center that launched Charleston’s three-run third inning.
Delaware’s EJ Stoltzfus led the Blue Hens with two hits, including an RBI double that scored UD’s two runs in the sixth inning. Starter Dan Gatto went six innings, giving up five runs on 10 hits.
The Cougars took a 3-0 lead after the third inning when Welke led off with a solo home run and Rowland reached on an infield single. Heidt advanced Rowland with a hit to center and then Wise scored him on another hit up the middle. Brandon Glazer kept the hit train going with another hit up the middle and then Morgan Phillips had a bases-loaded RBI walk to put CofC up 3-0.
Charleston added a run in the fifth with a leadoff walk from Heidt and another Wise single that allowed the speedy Heidt to go first-to-third. Glazer beat out a double-play ball and Heidt scored Charleston’s fourth run of the game.
The Blue Hens were able to respond in the top of the sixth, starting the inning with a single and two doubles, including Stoltzfus’ two-run knock to right field that cut CofC’s lead in half. Clarke was able to lock down, however, striking out Norm Donkin, inducing a popup and then striking Alex Mottle to end the inning.
Charleston answered in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out rally, loading the bases after hits from Rowland and Butler and a walk from Heidt. Wise was hit by a pitch to score a run and the Cougars led 5-2. Charleston’s final run came in the eighth after an error allowed Welke to reach and Heidt was able to drive him in with his third hit.
CofC will go for the series win tomorrow afternoon against the Blue Hens at 3 p.m.