Cougars' bats take control early as Bucs drop Lowcountry matchup

Cougars' bats take control early as Bucs drop Lowcountry matchup

CHARLESTON, S.C. - College of Charleston's bats took control early and a late Charleston Southern rally fell short on Tuesday night as the Buccaneers fell on the road at the Patriots Point Athletic Complex, 9-5.

Brandon Gragilla paced the CSU (21-27) offense with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate to go with a team-high three RBI, while Jack Delongchamps added a run-scoring single in the Bucs' rally in the top of the eighth to lead the Bucs on the night. Chris Singleton and Mike Sconzo added doubles for the Bucs in their second matchup against the Cougars this season.

CofC (25-27) utilized back-to-back home runs by Danny Wondrack and Ari Sechopoulos in the bottom of the second and the Cougars added a pair of two-run doubles in the sixth to complete the season sweep over CSU.

Daniel Johnson (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season for the Bucs as the junior left-hander went the first four innings on the rubber. He allowed eight hits and four runs (one earned) while striking out four. Will Detwiler (2-0) picked up his second win of the season going 1.1 innings in relief for the Cougars.

CofC took the early lead in the bottom of the first as the Cougars rallied with two outs. Tommy Richter connected on base hit to right field to start the rally and advanced to third on a Logan McRae base hit to shallow centerfield. McRae was caught in a rundown on the first pitch of the ensuing at-bat, but the CofC runner avoided the tag until Richter touched the plate to give CofC the early 1-0 lead.

Mike Sconzo and Brandon Gragilla put the Bucs on the scoreboard in the top of the second as the duo connected on back-to-back hits to even the score. Sconzo connected on a one-out double down the left field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Gragilla followed with a single through the right side of the infield to tie the game up at 1-1.

The Cougars utilized another two-out rally in the bottom of the second with Danny Wondrack and Ari Sechopoulos connecting on back-to-back home runs to take the 4-1 lead. Wondrack's two-run shot brought home Xavier Freeman, while Sechopoulos followed with a drive that tucked inside the right field foul pole to give CofC the three-run lead.

Ereven Roper added a RBI double for CofC in the bottom of the fifth to give the Cougars the 5-1 lead. Roper followed a McRae single with a double down the right field line into the corner allowing McRae to score to add to the CofC lead.

Dupree Hart and McRae connected on a pair of two-run doubles in the bottom of the sixth to add to CofC's lead. Hart drove in Luke Manzo and Sechopoulos with a drive down the left field line. McRae followed two batters with a double to left scoring Hart and Manzo to give the Cougars the 9-1 lead.

The Bucs rallied for four runs in the top of the eighth thanks in part to RBI singles from Jack Delongchamps and Gragilla. CSU loaded the bases with one out before Delongchamps connected on a drive down the left field line off the fence to bring home Nate Blanchard. Tyler Kinney crossed on a wild pitch before Gragilla connected on a two-run single to right field scoring Ryan Stoudemire and Delongchamps to narrow the CofC lead down to 9-5.

Tyler Pickard and the CSU defense shut down the Cougars in the top of the ninth, but the duo of Justin Baker and Nathan Ocker retired CSU in order in the bottom half of the frame to close out the game.

The Buccaneers return to the CSU Ballpark this weekend for their final home series of the 2017 season. CSU hosts Air Force starting on Thursday night as the Bucs begin a three-game slate with the Falcons. First pitch on the Big South Network is set for 6 p.m.

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