CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston's power bats led the way on Wednesday night as Charleston Southern fell in the matchup between the Lowcountry rivals at the CSU Ballpark, 13-5.
The Cougars (17-16) connected on a season-high five home runs with two coming off the bat of Erven Roper to take the first matchup between the teams in the 2017 season. The Bucs (16-16) will be making the return trip to Patriots Point on May 16.
Chris Singleton connected on his third home run of the season to pace the CSU offense on the night, while Kyle Vesnesky turned in a 3-for-5 day at the plate with a double. Nate Blanchard, Aaron Miller, Cole German, and Alex Andronica also added multi-hit performances in the loss.
Corey Ireson (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season going the first three innings and allowing five hits and three runs (two earned), while striking out two. Seven Bucs pitched in the contest with Eddie Hiott, Tyler Pickard, and Adam Andrew all holding the Cougars scoreless during their turn on the rubber.
Clay Hunt (1-0) picked up his first win of the season on a staff day for the Cougars going two innings. Hunt allowed four hits and two runs while striking out four in the contest.
CofC opened the scoring in the top of the first as the Cougars took advantage of a pair of CSU errors to plate the first run of the game. Luke Manzo scored on one of the errors to give CofC the early 1-0 advantage.
Ari Sechopoulos connected on a solo home run and Dupree Hart recorded an RBI single in the top of the second to give the Cougars the 3-0 advantage.
Singleton put the Bucs on the board in the bottom of the second with a one-out solo home run off of CofC starter Max McKinley. His shot cleared the fence in left centerfield to narrow the margin to 3-1.
Homers by Roper and Joey Mundy brought five Cougar runs across the plate in the top of the fourth as CofC again took advantage of CSU errors in the frame. Roper's two-run shot put CofC ahead 5-1, while Mundy's three-run blast followed a pair of Bucs' miscues to put the advantage at 8-1.
The Bucs pushed two runs of their own across in the bottom of the frame. German connected on a one-out single bringing Vesnesky, while Jack Delongchamps connected on a sacrifice fly to centerfield scoring Singleton.
Mundy connected on an RBI single in the fifth to add to the CofC lead, while Roper and Tommy Richter added RBI base hits in the sixth to give the Cougars the 11-3 lead.
CSU plated their final two runs of the contest in the bottom of the sixth. Blanchard and Aaron Miller connected on back-to-back sacrifice flies scoring German and Andronica to cut the lead down to 11-5.
The Cougars plated their final two runs of the contest with back-to-back one-out solo home runs from Roper and Logan McRae to provide the final margin.
Charleston Southern jumps back into Big South Conference play on Thursday night as the Buccaneers welcome Gardner-Webb to the CSU Ballpark for the start of a three-game conference series. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.