The College of Charleston baseball team crushed a season-high five home runs – including two big flies by senior Erven Roper (Easley, S.C.) – to power its way to a 13-5 win over Charleston Southern on Wednesday evening in non-conference play.
With the win, the Cougars improve to 17-16 overall, and push their win streak to three. Charleston Southern falls to 16-16 on the season.
The Cougars plated 13 runs on 18 hits – including five long balls and a double – while limiting Charleston Southern to five tallies on 13 base knocks. Roper, Tommy Richter (Wayne, Pa.), Joey Mundy (Huntington, W.Va.), and Ari Sechopoulos (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) each tallied three hits, as Roper and Mundy both drove in four runs. Mundy, Sechopoulos, and Logan McRae (Florence, S.C.) each launched a home run, as Roper became the first Cougar to hit two homers in a game since he did so against Mercer last season.
Max McKinley (Tallahassee, Fla.) took the ball and went two innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out one. Clay Hunt (Fort Mill, S.C.) earned the win with two frames of relief work, while Griffin McLarty (Buckner, Ky.) tossed two innings as well. Tucker White (Sterling, Okla.) pitched one and two-thirds scoreless innings, as Nathan Ocker (Middletown, Pa.) logged the final one and one-third to close out the win.
Kyle Vesnesky paced the Charleston Southern offense with a 3-for-5 effort, as four other Bucs collected two hits. Chris Singleton launched a solo home run; five Bucs drove in one run.
Corey Ireson surrendered three runs on five hits in three innings to take the loss, while Jamison Mobbs allowed five runs (two earned) in two-thirds of an inning. The Bucs utilized seven pitchers on the night.
The Cougars took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, when Manzo pushed a leadoff single into left and came across on a two-out, bases-loaded error. After Sechopoulos bombed a solo homer to right center in the second, Hart stretched the advantage to 3-0 with an infield single to score Manzo.
Singleton pulled a run back for the Bucs in the home half with a solo shot to left center, which cut the lead to 3-1 after two. A five-run fourth would break the game open for the Cougars, as Roper tagged a 3-2 pitch over the wall in right center to widen the margin to 5-1. Mundy followed three batters later with a three-run line drive homer to right, stretching the advantage to 8-1.
The Bucs trimmed the margin to 8-3 in the home half, before the Cougars plated one in the fifth and two in the sixth on RBI singles from Mundy, Roper, and Richter to push the lead to 11-3. Charleston Southern would answer with two of its own in the bottom of the inning to close the gap to 11-5 on back-to-back sac flies.
Roper added his second long-ball of the night – and fifth of the season – in the eighth to stretch the advantage to 12-5. McRae then launched a towering homer to left to give The College a 13-5 lead, as the Cougars went back-to-back for the first time in 2017.
The Cougars return to the diamond on Friday when they open a three-game set in Colonial Athletic Association play in Brookline, Mass. against Northeastern. First pitch is set for 2:30 pm.
-per CofC Athletics