STATESBORO, Ga. – College of Charleston’s Eric Bauer had a quality start and Gunnar Heidt hit a two-run homer as the Cougars held on for a big midweek win at Georgia Southern, 5-3, on Wednesday night.
College of Charleston (28-13) halted a three-game slide of midweek losses and evened the season series with rival Georgia Southern (27-16).
The Cougars never trailed after scoring a run in the fourth inning, but the Eagles made things interesting with a two-out, two-run rally in the seventh inning to cut CofC’s lead to 3-2. Charleston responded with two runs in the eighth, but Georgia Southern struck again with a leadoff solo homer in the ninth and had the potential tying run at the plate with just one out. CofC avoided a ninth-inning letdown with two flyouts that ended the game.
Bauer (3-0) went 6.2 innings for CofC’s 20th quality start of the season. He did not allow a run and scattered just three hits with a season-high six strikeouts. He continues an impressive run for CofC’s starting pitchers who have made 12 quality starts in the last 15 games. CofC’s starters now boast a season ERA of 2.54.
Chase Henry allowed two earned runs with two outs in the seventh inning and only pitched a third of an inning. Hunter Rice continued his strong week with a shutout eighth inning, striking out one. Michael Hanzlik (9) earned his CAA-best ninth save of the season after he allowed one run, but held on to a two-run lead in the ninth to preserve the win.
College of Charleston’s offense struck for 10 hits, led by Heidt’s performance. The team’s batting leader, Heidt extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest for a CofC player since 2011, with a single in the first inning. He then ripped a ball to left field for a two-run homer in the fifth inning, his fourth long ball of the season.
Georgia Southern’s Will Jackson (2-1) was tagged with the loss as he lasted just 3.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits. The Eagles used five more relief pitchers in the loss with Matt McCall, Tripp Sheppard and Jason Richman allowing runs.
After a strong four-hit performance at CofC, Garrett Chapman struggled against CofC pitching this week with no hits and two strikeouts. Stryker Brown knocked two hits, including a solo home run to lead off the ninth inning. Hunter Thomas had a pinch-hit double with two outs that scored two in the seventh and cut CofC’s lead to 3-2.
College of Charleston returns home for an action-packed weekend of baseball against Bethune-Cookman this weekend. On Friday, the Cougars will unveil a wall tribute to CofC great Brett Gardner in a special pregame ceremony.