Cougars Host Coastal Carolina In Final Home Game
The Cougars are coming off a tough weekend where they lost two of three games at home to UNC Asheville. CofC avoided the sweep with a big 11-6 win over the Bulldogs on Sunday featuring three Cougar home runs.
Daniel Aldrich led the Cougars offensively over the weekend with a .417 average with three RBI and a home run, triple and double. He came just a double short of the cycle during Saturday's game.
Senior Kyle Owings continued his strong pitching with a win on Sunday, as he came on to pitch 2.2 innings of relief and allowed just one hit and no runs. He now sports a 1.03 ERA on the season.
Tuesday's starter, Jake Zokan, will be making his second start of the season after earning a partial shutout over Savannah State last Tuesday.
Fans can watch all of the weekend's action on the Charleston Sports Network on CofCSports.com. The games will also be live on radio on ESPN 910 AM with Jeff McCarragher and Dennis Trapani calling the action.
The Chanticleers hold a 16-14 advantage over College of Charleston in the all-time series. Coastal won this year's previous meeting, a 5-1 decision in Conway on March 14.
LHP #10 Javier Reynoso, Coastal Carolina, 2-2, 3.22 ERA, 36.1 IP, 21 BB, 17 K
LHP #30 Jake Zokan, CofC, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7.0 IP, 1 BB, 5 K
SCOUTING THE CHANTICLEERS
Coastal Carolina enters Tuesday's game with a 34-16 record after splitting the weekend series with Winthrop. Sunday's rubber game was rained out. The Chants have a 5-4 record over common opponents including a 10-7 win at Clemson on April 24. Coastal Carolina is currently receiving votes in both the NCBWA and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Coastal starter Javier Reynoso has a 2-2 record on the season, which includes a win over the Cougars. Top hitter Daniel Bowman is sporting a .387 average with 36 RBI and a slugging percentage of .577.
Rich Witten is the team's RBI leader with 44 as he's hitting .337.
ALDRICH NAMED SOCON PLAYER OF THE WEEK
College of Charleston's Daniel Aldrich was named the Southern Conference Player of the Week, the conference office announced on Monday.
The award marked the second time that the Preseason All-American has earned the weekly honor in the past three weeks. It is also the fifth SoCon weekly award for the Cougars this season, the most for any school in the conference.
Aldrich led the Cougars to victories over Clemson, Savannah State and a game three win over UNC Asheville as he hit .421 with two home runs, two triples and two doubles, amassing a slugging percentage of 1.053 with five RBI. On Saturday, he came just a double away from hitting for the cycle, and he hit a game-tying solo homer in Monday's win over Clemson.
COUGARS ON SPORTSCENTER TOP 10
College of Charleston baseball has begun to make it a habit of appearing on the famed SportsCenter Top 10 Plays (#SCTop10). This past week, sophomore Brandon Murray made a diving catch in foul territory that nearly vaulted him over a wall. The play was selected as the number one overall top play for Wednesday, May 9.
Earlier this season, a diving stop and throw to first from Rob Harding landed at No. 8 on SportsCenter's Top 10.
GANTT EARNS NATIONAL, CONFERENCE HONORS
Senior CF Marty Gantt earned several honors two weeks ago for his outstanding play. On May 1st, Gantt was selected for the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch LIst, one of 60 players eligible for the sport's top award. The following day, the Southern Conference tabbed Gantt as its baseball player of the month for April.
Gantt led the Cougars during April with a .426 batting average as he reached base in all but one game in the month. He sported five three-hit games and tallied nine hits in a series sweep against The Citadel.
The senior tallied a team-best 16 runs and posted eight doubles to lead the team with a .656 slugging percentage. He also drew 14 walks, with four intentional, for an on-base percentage of .539, while stealing 12 bases. Gantt made several diving catches in centerfield as he recorded 40 putouts against only one error.
A native of North Augusta, S.C., Gantt is currently third in the Southern Conference with a batting average of .376. His league-best 57 runs rank 10th in the nation, while Gantt also leads the league in doubles (18), walks (38) and on-base percentage (.490). He is second in the conference in stolen bases (25) and slugging percentage (.644).
NEW LINEUP = GREAT SUCCESS
In the last 18 games since head coach Monte Lee moved Gantt to the leadoff spot in the order, the Cougars have posted an 12-6 record with Gantt hitting .385 with an on-base percentage of .545 and 20 runs scored and 11 stolen bases. Bradley Goodson in the six and two spots is hitting .355 with 19 RBI and a slugging percentage of .553 and 17 runs.
Gantt is 16-36 (.444) when leading off an inning in those games, and Goodson is 12-32 with runners in scoring position and has successfully advanced runners at over 55 percent.
Goodson was named the SoCon Player of the Week on April 16 and Gantt was picked as the SoCon Player of the Month for April.
College of Charleston starter Christian Powell has proved to nearly unhittable this season, as he sports a league-best 2.35 ERA. Powell has boasted three starting performances where he has not allowed an earned run and has one partial shutout this season. His eight wins are tied for third in the SoCon.
Powell was recently named to the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List, the only representative of the SoCon on the 51-player list.
CLOSING THE DOOR
College of Charleston senior David Peterson has embraced his new role of closer in 2012 and has provided several stellar outings recently to save games for the Cougars, including a two-inning performance at South Carolina.
Peterson is currently in second place in the conference in saves with 10, putting him 30th in the NCAA. That mark also ranks sixth for most in a season in CofC history.
Peterson was named to the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Preseason Watch List along with 44 other relievers.
WHAT'S HAPPENED BY THE 4TH INNING?
CofC games this season have largely been determined by the action in the first four innings. The Cougars are an impressive 28-2 when leading after the fourth inning and are 3-14 when trailing after the fourth inning. The Cougars do not easily give up leads as they are 25-6 on the season when scoring first.
SENIOR HITS HARD
College of Charleston senior and corner infielder Rob Harding has made big-time plays in big situations for the Cougars. After starting the season at third base, Harding has moved to first where he has continued to make run-saving defensive plays. Harding leads the team with a .473 average with runners in scoring position, while he's tallied a team-best 17 two-out RBI.
In the win over Clemson, Harding delivered the game-sealing RBI and then snagged a liner down the third baseline to get the lead runner in the 8th inning. He also hit a walk-off single to defeat The Citadel in the 11th inning (4/22).
B-MURR, BENZ OR BENTLEY
College of Charleston sophomore Brandon Murray has been a power generator at the plate, blasting a team-best 11 home runs and boasting a slugging percentage of .547. Murray is fifth in the league in home runs.
Murray was named the SoCon Player of the Week on March 26. He hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning that led to the Cougars extra-inning win over CSU (3/27).
CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL
While the College of Charleston has based its 2012 reputation off of the strength of its pitching staff, the Cougars are still hitting for power in a big way. CofC is a close second in the Southern Conference in team home runs with 55, a mark that currently ranks 6th in the country.
College of Charleston has seen power from a number of different bats as Brandon Murray (11), Marty Gantt (10), Bradley Goodson (8) and Daniel Aldrich (8) eight or more long balls. CofC is 26-9 this season when the squad hits a home run in a game, and 12-1 when the Cougars hit two or more long balls.