On Brett Gardner Day at Patriots Point, it was a new number six that played the hero for College of Charleston as Carl Wise drove a two-out double to right field that scored Blake Butler and CofC defeated Bethune-Cookman, 2-1, in a 10th-inning walk-off victory.
The Cougars (29-13) notched their second walk-off victory of the season and took the team’s first win in extra innings this year.
The scoreboard reflected a nearly even game as both starting pitchers held offenses in check. Bethune-Cookman finished with one run on six hits with one error, while College of Charleston had two runs on seven hits with one error.
CofC’s Taylor Clarke posted his sixth quality start of the season and CofC’s sixth-straight quality start as a team. Charleston’s pitching staff has now tallied 21 quality starts on the season. Clarke went six innings and notched a career-high nine strikeouts. He scattered five hits and allowed just one run in the first inning.
The Charleston bullpen combined for four shutout innings between Chase Henry, Hunter Rice and Michael Hanzlik. Hanzlik (1-1) picked up his first win of the season with 1.2 innings of work, allowing no hits and striking out two.
Bethune-Cookman starter Montana Durapau was nearly perfect through seven innings. He scattered four hits and did not allow a Cougar run, striking out nine batters. Michael Austin (0-3) suffered the defeat for the Wildcats as he allowed Butler to reach on a one-out single in the 10th, before John Sever gave up Wise’s game-winning hit with two outs.
Wise led CofC’s offensive effort with both RBIs for the Cougars. He knocked his CAA-best seventh sacrifice fly in the eighth inning that tied the game, before his 10th-inning double won it. Wise leads Charleston and ranks second in the CAA with 41 RBIs.
Butler posted three hits, including two doubles, as he scored both runs for the Cougars. Morgan Phillips had a double and single in the win.
Gunnar Heidt extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a double in the first inning. His hitting streak is now tied for ninth all-time in CofC history.
The Wildcats scored their only run of the game in the first inning. Bryant Munoz led off the game with a hit and reached second on the throw. Julian Santos then scored Munoz with a two-out double on a ball that fell just beyond the outstretched hand of Morgan Phillips.
Both pitchers locked in and struck out batters to strand runners on each of the side of the inning frames. The Wildcats threatened to score in the seventh with runners on second and third with two outs, but Henry induced a flyout to end the inning.
Phillips led off the bottom of the seventh with a double, but Charleston couldn’t tally another hit to score him. CofC had another runner in scoring position in the eighth with Butler’s lead-off double. He advanced to third on a fly ball from Heidt, and Wise’s long fly to left field tied the game on the sacrifice fly.
Charleston got out of a jam in the ninth inning when Austin Garcia reached second on a throwing error from Devon Reed. Jordan Robinson advanced the runner to third on a sacrifice bunt, but consecutive putouts from Butler and Reed ended the inning.
Butler excited the fans in the 10th inning with a one-out single. Heidt flied out to center field for the second out, but then Wise pulled a ball into the gap in right that rolled all the way to the wall. Butler raced around the bases and scored the game-winning run without a throw home, prompting celebration in the stands.
College of Charleston goes for the series win on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. The game will feature a Bark at the Park promotion while CofC players and coaches will be shaving their heads after the game in support of Vs. Cancer.