MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - College of Charleston senior Rob Harding hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 11th inning that scored Brandon Murray to give the Cougars a 6-5 win over The Citadel to sweep the weekend series.
Bradley Goodson led off the 11th inning with a double to left field, and the Bulldogs intentionally walked Murray. In the next at bat, Daniel Aldrich popped a bunt over the charging Bulldog third baseman, but Goodson had to hold at second to check the play and he was forced out at third. With one out and two on, Harding singled through the left side and Murray motored around third for the game-winning run.
College of Charleston (29-12, 17-7) has now swept four conference series and won five straight games including a win at No. 8 South Carolina. The weekend marked the first time that the Cougars have swept The Citadel (17-24, 7-11) since 2008 when the Cougars won three at Patriots Point. The game started at 6:15 p.m. after a five-hour rain delay.
Harding finished the day with a 4-for-6 mark at the plate, tying his career high of four hits that he set last year against The Citadel. The senior infielder tallied three RBIs including the game-winner while also scoring a run.
Senior Marty Gantt concluded his outstanding weekend with a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a run scored. Gantt finished the weekend hitting .692 (9-13) with three doubles, four RBI, four runs and two stolen bases.
Murray went 1-of-2 with two runs, including the game-winner, while Goodson tallied two hits with a run and an RBI.
CofC starter Matt Pegler went 5.2 innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on six hits in picking up the no-decision. Kyle Owings pitched well in relief by blanking the Bulldogs for 3.1 innings and picking up three strikeouts. David Peterson (1-1) came on in the extra innings and picked up the win.
The Citadel starter Logan Cribb lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. T.J. Clarkson (1-4) pitched the final two innings and allowed the game-winning run for the loss.
The Cougars scored first on an RBI single from Harding in the first inning, but the Bulldogs fought back with two runs on two hits with a Cougar error in the top of the second.
Harding tied the game up in the third inning with yet another RBI single, this time scoring Murray from second base. The Cougars took the lead with a two-run fourth inning as Goodson singled to score Devon Reed and Murray hit a sacrifice fly to score Gantt.
Jimmy Holton picked up a groundout RBI in the fifth inning to put the Cougars up 5-2 and seemingly in control. However, the Bulldogs rallied to tie the game in the sixth inning with a three-RBI hit from Hughston Armstrong that unloaded the bases and tied the game at five apiece.
College of Charleston had opportunities with runners in scoring position and less than two out in the ninth, 10th and 11th innings, but it wasn't until Harding's base hit could the Cougars finally plate the winning run.
The win was the second walk-off win for CofC this season as the Cougars are now 2-1 in extra-inning games. The contest also marked the first time in the rich history of the College of Charleston-Citadel baseball series that any game has gone to extra innings.
College of Charleston will not play a mid-week game this week for the first time since February as the Cougars prepare for a crucial series at Western Carolina starting on Friday.