College of Charleston tallied seven extra-base hits in an 8-6 victory over Towson on Sunday, earning the program’s first sweep in CAA play.
The Cougars (21-10, 4-2) have now won four in a row in an impressive road run, while Towson (14-12, 0-3) suffered its first home conference sweep since the 2010 season. The win marked the third sweep of the season for a Charleston team that is currently one-half game out of first place in the conference.
The Tigers roped a season-high 15 hits in the game, but the Cougars were able to strand 13 Towson baserunners and respond to every Towson scoring inning.
Morgan Phillips led the Cougars with a career-best performance, going 4-for-5 with three doubles and a home run for a career-best 10 bases. His home run was a three-run shot in the seventh inning that sealed Charleston’s victory. Phillips finished the series with a .533 average and 1.133 slugging percentage, knocking six doubles and a homer and driving in seven runners.
Freshman Bradley Jones hit his first career home run in the game and finished with three hits and two RBIs. Ryan Welke tied his career high with three hits, including a double. Alex Pastorius broke out of a hitting slump with an RBI double, while Gunnar Heidt finished the day with two hits and a walk.
Nathan Helvey (3-2) continued CofC’s streak of starter victories as he lasted six innings and scattered 10 hits for just four earned runs. He struck out four and walked one. Michael Hanzlik entered with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh inning, but got out of the inning and went the distance for his CAA-best eighth save of the season.
Towson’s Lee Lawler (2-2) was tagged with the loss as he gave up five runs on eight hits through five innings. Pat Fitzgerald led the Tiger offense with four hits and two RBIs. Kurt Wertz knocked three hits and scored a run, while Brendan Butler went 2-for-5 with a double and run scored.
Both teams were even through five innings as they traded one run in the third and two runs in the fourth for a 3-3 game. Charleston scored two runs in the top of the sixth off a two-run homer from Jones, and Towson was only able to answer with one run in the bottom of the sixth.
College of Charleston broke the game open with Phillips’ three-run blast in the top of the seventh, taking an 8-4 lead. The Tigers looked to equalize in the bottom of the inning yet again, but Hanzlik relieved Tyler Thornton in a bases-loaded, one-out jam and recorded a strikeout and groundout.
Towson looked for some ninth-inning magic after two leadoff hits put runners at second and third with no outs. A strikeout and sacrifice fly RBI from pinch-hitter Brady Policelli scored one run, but also put two outs on the scoreboard. Fitzgerald then singled in another run and the Tigers brought the winning run to the plate after a walk. But Hanzlik was able to get Fisher to fly out and end the game.
College of Charleston concludes its five-game road swing on Wednesday, April 9, at USC Upstate.
Also on Sunday, the Cougars announced that outfielder Brandon Murray, who left Friday's game after being hit by a pitch, suffered a broken bone in his arm. He's scheduled to have surgery this week. The team is hoping he'll be able to return in time for the CAA Tournament. Murray led the team with 5 homeruns.