Xavier Freeman (New Lima, Okla.) and Logan McRae (Florence, S.C.) each homered, and Nathan Ocker (Middletown, Pa.) tossed four and one-third near-perfect innings out of the bullpen to lift the College of Charleston baseball team to a 5-3 series-clinching win over Elon in Colonial Athletic Association play on Saturday afternoon at Patriots Point.
The victory keeps the College of Charleston (22-21, 12-5 CAA) two games ahead of Delaware for second in the CAA standings, while Elon (19-24, 9-8 CAA) falls into sixth. Charleston pushed across five runs on seven hits – including two home runs – while limiting Elon to three tallies on seven base knocks.
Bradley Dixon (Greenwood, S.C.) paced the offense with a 2-for-4 effort, while Freeman plated two runs with his fourth home run in the last six games. McRae added his conference-leading 13th homer of the season, while becoming the first player in the CAA to reach the 50-RBI plateau for the year. Luke Manzo (Marietta, Ga.) reached base twice and accounted for two of the Cougars’ five stolen bases.
Evan Sisk (Chester, S.C.) pitched four and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out two. Ocker came out of the ‘pen and surrendered one run on one hit and struck out five to earn the win.
Kyle Jackson led the way for Elon with a 2-for-4 day, which included an RBI double. Cam Devanney reached base three times with two walks and a solo home run.
Kyle Brnovich got the start for the Phoenix and lasted seven innings, allowing five runs on six hits and striking out six to take the loss. Robbie Welhaf pitched a scoreless eighth in relief.
The Cougars drew first blood with two runs in the second. After Joey Mundy (Huntington, W.Va.) and Freeman worked back-to-back walks to load the bases, Ari Sechopoulos (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) lifted a fly ball to center to score Dixon from third for the game’s first run. Mundy alertly took third on the play. Charleston then executed the delayed double steal to perfection, as Freeman took off for second and held long enough to allow Mundy to scamper home to give the College a 2-0 lead.
McRae would add to the advantage in the third with a no-doubter to left for a solo shot, which pushed the margin to 3-0. Freeman followed with a two-run bomb to left center in the fourth to extend the lead to 5-0.
Elon fought back in the fifth, plating two runs to cut the lead to 5-2 on an RBI single by Jackson, and a sac fly by Will Nance. Devanney would trim the margin further to 5-3 with a solo shot in the eighth, before Ocker shut the door to seal the win for the Cougars.
Charleston will go for the series sweep on Sunday when freshman Jakob Frishmuth (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) takes the ball opposite Elon senior Jordan Barrett. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm at Patriots Point.
-per CofC athletics