The College of Charleston baseball team scored the only run of the game on a bases-loaded grounder to first in the fifth inning and, despite being held without a hit, stayed alive in in the Colonial Athletic Association Championships with a 1-0 win over Elon on Thursday afternoon.
With the win, College of Charleston (27-30) advances to Friday, and will face the lowest remaining seed following Thursday evening’s No. 4 Delaware/No. 1 Northeastern and No. 3 William & Mary/No. 2 UNC Wilmington matchups. Elon ends its season at 24-32 despite throwing the first no-hitter in CAA Tournament history. The victory marks the Cougars’ first win this season while being out-hit by more than four hits.
Bailey Ober (Charlotte, N.C.) and Nathan Ocker (Middletown, Pa.) combined for nine strikeouts and nine shutout innings, as Ober spun five scoreless frames before being removed following a 93-minute rain delay in the middle of the fifth. The Cougars’ ace scattered four hits and walked one while striking out seven to earn his seventh win of the season. The victory also moves Ober into a tie for second on the program’s all-time wins list with 24. Ocker tossed four scoreless frames to earn his fourth save of the season.
Dupree Hart (Rock Hill, S.C.), Ereven Roper (Easley, S.C.), and Xavier Freeman (New Lima, Okla.) each reached base via a walk, while Luke Manzo (Marietta, Ga.) and Joey Mundy (Huntington, W.Va.) got aboard through a hit-by-pitch. Bradley Dixon (Greenwood, S.C.) accounted for the lone RBI, as Roper scored the game’s only run.
Joe Satterfield paced the offense for Elon with a 3-for-4 afternoon, as Hayden Platt, Kyle Jackson, Will Nance, and Shawn Blake each added a base knock. Jordan Barrett was credited with the loss despite allowing only one run in four and two-thirds hitless innings. George Kirby tossed three and one-third scoreless frames in relief.
Elon’s best scoring chance came into the top of the first, when the Phoenix loaded the bases with one out. Ober then struck out Ty Adcock looking before Tommy Richter (Wayne, Pa.) hauled in Nance’s foul pop up to end the frame.
After the Cougars stranded Richter at second in the first, both pitchers settled down with three 1-2-3 innings to send the game into the fifth scoreless. Ober worked out of a runners-on-the-corners jam in the top of the fifth, as the 6-foot-9 right-hander retired Ogren swinging to end the frame.
A 93-minute rain delay chased Ober from the outing, but Barrett came out for the bottom of the fifth despite the lengthy stoppage. After Roper drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the frame, Ari Sechopoulos (Windsor, Ontario, Canada) dropped down a perfect sac bunt to advance him to second. Freeman then worked a walk, followed by a hit-by-pitch to Mundy to load the bases with one out.
Dixon then drove in Roper with a grounder to first, as the Phoenix first baseman elected to step on the bag before throwing home, which allowed Roper to skirt around the tag to score the go-ahead run.
After the Phoenix stranded the tying run on third in the seventh, Satterfield led off the eighth with a double and advanced to third on a fly ball by Ogren. Platt then hit a bouncer to Sechopoulos at first, who alertly fired home to catch Satterfield trying to sneak home with the potential tying run.
Ocker needed no other assistance, as the sophomore right-hander retired four of the next five batters he faced to close out the gritty 1-0 win.
The fifth-seeded Cougars will await the conclusion of the Delaware/Northeastern and William & Mary/UNCW matchups to learn who they will face in Friday’s action.