Luke Manzo (Marietta, Ga.) and Logan McRae (Florence, S.C.) each drove in four runs – including Manzo’s first collegiate home run – and every member of the batting order scored at least one run as, the College of Charleston baseball team routed Towson, 16-3, to open a Colonial Athletic Association series on Friday evening at Patriots Point.
With the win, the College of Charleston (18-20, 8-5 CAA) moves into a three-way tie for second in the CAA standings with Delaware and Elon. The loss drops Towson to 15-21 overall, and 3-7 in conference play. The Cougars pounded out 16 runs on 16 hits – including three home runs – while drawing seven walks and reaching four times via the hit-by-pitch. Charleston limited Towson to three runs on five hits.
McRae went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBIs, while Manzo tallied two hits and drove in four. Tommy Richter (Wayne, Pa.) reached on four singles and Ari Sechopoulos (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) drove in three with a 2-for-4 night. Erven Roper (Easley, S.C.) plated two with his seventh home run of the season, as Joey Mundy (Huntington, W.Va.), Luke Morgan (New Lenox, Ill.), and Richter each drove in one.
Bailey Ober (Charlotte, N.C.) surrendered three runs on four hits and struck out seven in five innings to earn his fourth win of the season, and 21st of his career. The victory moves the 6-foot-9 right-hander into a tie for sixth on the Cougars’ all-time list. Carter Love (Charlotte, N.C.) tossed two perfect innings, while Clay Hunt (Fort Mill, S.C.) and Griffin McLarty (Buckner, Ky.) combined for two scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth.
Richie Palacios and Trey Martinez each collected two hits, while Mark Grunberg drove in two for the Tigers. Dean Stramara got the start, and allowed six earned runs on seven hits in three and one-third innings to take the loss. Alex Cuas surrendered nine runs in four innings of work out of the bullpen.
The Cougars drew first blood in the second on an RBI single by Mundy to take a 1-0 lead. A six-run fourth pushed the margin to 7-0, as Sechopoulos and McRae each picked up two-run singles in the frame. Towson would answer with three in the top of the fifth to trim the margin to 7-3.
After Richter singled home Dupree Hart (Rock Hill, S.C.) in the sixth, Sechopoulos led off the seventh with a home run down the right field line to stretch the advantage to 9-3. McRae followed four batters later with a two-run single to center to put the Cougars ahead 11-3. Roper then sent the first pitch he saw into the trees in right for his seventh home run of the season – a two-run shot that pushed the lead to 13-3.
The Cougars put an exclamation point on the night with three runs in the eighth to stretch the margin to 16-3. After Xavier Freeman (New Lima, Okla.) led off the inning with a double and Sechopoulos walked, Manzo drove a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left for a three-run homer – the first of his collegiate career. McLarty followed with a perfect ninth to close out the blowout win.
Charleston returns to the diamond on Saturday in game two of the weekend set. First pitch is set for 2:30 pm at Patriots Point.