Homers Lead Cougars to 13-4 Win over BucsMay 7, 2008
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Senior relief pitcher Payton Tweddale made the most of his 100th career appearance on Wednesday, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in a 13-4 loss to the College of Charleston. Tweddale came into the game with the bases juiced and no outs, surrendering just one run on a sacrifice fly before recording three outs. Freshman Derek Smith hit his 11th home run of the season for the Buccaneers, but the Cougars combined for four homers to overpower their visitors.
Charleston (31-17) posted runs in all but two innings, reaching double figures in scoring for the 22nd time this season. The Cougars won all four games against CSU (16-29) this year, sweeping the season series.
Making his first start of the season in his 11th appearance for the Bucs, redshirt-junior Eric McGough (0-1) gave up eight runs on seven hits and five walks with three strikeouts over four innings in the loss. Freshman Casey Lucchese (5-2) started his sixth game for the Cougars, recording eight strikeouts over five innings to earn the win.
Senior Michael Kohn opened the scoring for Charleston, hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning to give the home team a 1-0 lead. It was his 10th homer of the season, making him the fifth Cougar to reach double figures in dingers this year.
Without getting a hit, CSU tied the game in the top of the third. After a line out to lead off the inning, freshman Tom Burkett was hit by a pitch and junior Mark Perry drew a walk to give the Bucs two runners on base. One wild pitch advanced both runners before a second errant delivery allowed Burkett to score, making it 1-1. With Perry on third and still only one out, Lucchese got himself out of the jam by recording two straight strikeouts to end the threat.
Charleston’s vaunted offense broke open the game in the bottom half of the inning, getting back-to-back home runs to take a 5-1 lead. With a pair of Cougars on the base paths, junior Brandon Sizemore hit a three-run homer over the wall in right field, breaking the 1-1 tie with his 14th round-tripper of the year. Senior Michael Harrington extended the advantage to four runs when he followed Sizemore’s shot with his team-high 19th home run of the season.
Continuing his successful debut season, freshman Derek Smith led off the top of the fourth inning with his team-leading 11th home run, clearing the wall in near straightaway center field to pull the Bucs with three. After two straight outs, freshman Tyler Thornburg kept the inning alive with a single through the left side. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and then junior Jake Cox drew a walk to give CSU two base runners. Burkett seized the opportunity, driving a single up the middle that brought Thornburg around to score before Cox was thrown out a third, making it 5-3.
Junior Mike Hentz was the benefactor of confusion in the Buccaneer outfield, turning a high fly ball in shallow center field into a triple to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning for the Cougars. That put him in position to score when junior Austin Morgan’s fly ball traveled deep enough in left field for Hentz to score and push Charleston’s lead to 6-3.
The Cougars added another pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, making it four consecutive scoring innings to extend their lead to five runs. Junior Jeremie Tice belted a one-out double to left center to start the rally and advanced to second on a groundout. After a two-out walk to senior Gabe Marchant and a CSU pitching change, a wild pitch gave Tice time to score from third and moved Marchant over to second. Hentz took advantage of having a runner in scoring position with a single to left field that brought Marchant around to score, making it an 8-3 lead for the home team.
In its fifth straight scoring inning, Charleston added two more runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a home run from the least-expected source. After senior Stuart Haywood led off the inning with a double to left center, Morgan recorded just his second home run of the season when his blast cleared the wall in left field to make it a 10-3 ball game.
Three straight singles to begin the bottom of the seventh inning sparked a three-run rally to put the Cougars in front 13-3. Tice and Kohn reached with shots into left field before Marchant delivered a ball through the right side to bring Tice around to score. After Hentz drew a walk to load the bases, a passed ball allowed Kohn time to make it home and led to a walk for Haywood to load the base once again. That prompted the move to Tweddale, who recorded a strikeout for the first out of the inning. Junior Clay McCord then put a deep fly ball into foul territory in right field that was caught, but allowed Marchant time to tag up and score to give the home team a 10-run lead.
With one out in the top of the eighth, Black singled through the right side and moved to second on a passed ball. Redshirt-freshman Nick Chinners delivered a single to right center to bring Black around to score, making it 13-4 in favor of the Cougars. But that was as close as the Bucs could get as the Charleston bullpen held firm.
CSU will return to Big South Conference action this weekend, traveling to take on UNC Asheville for a three-game series. It will begin with a 3 p.m. contest on Friday, continue at 2 p.m. on Saturday and conclude at 1 p.m. on Sunday.Related Item: Box Score