College of Charleston exploded for 10 runs in the ninth inning to pull away in a 14-5 victory over Towson on Friday afternoon.
The win was College of Charleston’s (19-10, 2-2) first road victory in the CAA and it came over the defending conference tournament champions in Towson (14-10, 0-1).
The Cougars’ 14 runs set a new season high, while CofC’s 15 hits tied the season-best mark. Charleston’s ninth inning was the best single frame this year as the Cougars scored 10 runs on eight hits with 14 batters coming to the plate.
The inning was especially big considering the circumstances. Towson had just scored three runs in the seventh and eighth innings to cut CofC’s lead from 4-0 to 4-3. The top of the ninth broke the game open and nearly guaranteed victory despite two Tiger runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Playing against his former team, starter Taylor Clarke (6-2) was masterful in his third quality start of the season. Clarke took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and was nearly perfect until two solo home runs in the seventh frame. He finished with 7.0 innings pitched, two runs on three hits and six strikeouts with just two walks. Clarke’s six wins currently lead the CAA.
Towson found momentum after two seventh-inning solo homers and were knocking on the door after two walks and a hit off Chase Henry scored a run and had runners on second and third with one out. Nursing a one-run lead, Michael Hanzlik came in and provided a momentum-changing, seven-pitch performance by striking out the next two batters to preserve the 4-3 lead after eight innings. Hanzlik did not get the save as Hunter Rice came to pitch the bottom of the ninth inning after a nearly 20 minute half-inning of CofC offense.
CofC got some positive offensive production from every player in the lineup, including two replacements.
Morgan Phillips had a career-high four RBIs on two doubles and a single. Carl Wise tallied a double and two singles as he finished with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Playing in his home state, Brandon Glazer opened the scoring with a solo home run in the second inning, his fourth of the season. Glazer finished with a team-best three runs scored. Gunnar Heidt, Blake Butler and Champ Rowland all tallied multiple hits while Ryan Welke, Alex Pastorius and Devon Reed knocked in runs as well.
Even Brandon Murray and Austin Bello, the only two players to go hitless in the lineup, had positive at-bats as Murray was walked and hit by a pitch, and Bello successfully advanced a runner to scoring position early on with a flyout.
College of Charleston will look to Bailey Ober on the mound tomorrow as the Cougars go for the series win.