June 5, 2010
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - College of Charleston (43-17) jumped out to a 7-0 lead and held off a late rally to record a 9-6 victory over North Carolina State (38-23) in the second game of the 2010 NCAA Myrtle Beach Regional Friday at BB&T Coastal Field.
With the win, the Cougars advance to the winner's bracket game against No. 4 national seed Coastal Carolina Saturday at 7 p.m. The Wolfpack will play in the 1 p.m. elimination game Saturday against Stony Brook, who fell to the host Chanticleers, 6-0, in the opening game of the regional Friday afternoon.
The Cougars got on the board in the first inning, scoring three runs. Joey Bergman led off the inning with a single up the middle and advanced to second after Cole Rakar was hit by a pitch. Rob Kral drove in the first run of the game off a single through the right side, scoring Bergman. Matt Leeds brought home the second run of the frame on a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Rakar. With two outs, Jose Rodriguez singled through the left side, sending Kral to second and Baker Knox followed with a single to left field, scoring Kral to give College of Charleston an early 3-0 lead.
The Cougars added four more insurance runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-0 lead. Dre Watts led off the inning with a single up the middle and Jamie Holler reached first on a fielder's choice. Both Watts and Holler advanced on a fielding error by the third baseman and Watts came home on a second fielding error at third. Rakar followed with a successful bunt to load the bases and Leeds singled through the right side, bringing Holler and Bergman across the plate. Greg Blake brought in the final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Rakar.
The Wolfpack finally got on the board in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs. John Gianis started the inning with a single to the shortstop and Matt Bergquist kept things going by reaching second on a throwing error by the third baseman. With runners at second and third, Kyle Wilson drove in Gianis on a groundout and Dallas Poulk brought in Bergquist to score the second run for NC State.
College of Charleston answered back in the bottom of the sixth as Rodriguez homered to left field for an 8-2 lead in the Cougars' favor.
In the top of the eighth, the Wolfpack made the game interesting, scoring four runs to bring the game to within two at 8-6. Gianis led off with a single up the middle and both Wilson and Dallas Poulk drew walks to load the bases. Drew Paulk followed with a grand slam to left field.
Ahead by only two runs, College of Charleston answered back in the bottom of the eighth as Blake homered to right center, giving the Cougars a 9-6 lead.
NC State tried to build a rally in the top of the ninth as Pratt Maynard walked and Russell Wilson was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with one out. With the tying run at the plate, Chris Diaz hit a long ball to warning track, but it would be the last chance for the Wolfpack as they stranded both runners on base.
Decker started on the mound for the Cougars and went 7.1 innings to remain undefeated on the season as he improved to 8-0 on the season. He allowed five runs (three earned) on five hits while striking out seven. Jake Buchanan fell to 8-6 on the season for the Wolfpack. In four innings, Buchanan surrendered 13 hits and seven runs (four earned) while striking out three.
It was a team effort offensively for the Cougars as every starter in the line-up got a hit. Rodriguez finished the night 4-for-5 at the plate with one RBI and Rakar went 3-for-4, scoring two runs. NC State was led by Drew Poulk, who put four runs on the board for the Wolfpack with his dinger in the eighth while Dallas Poulk and Gianis were each 2-for-3 on the night.
College of Charleston Head Coach Monte Lee
Thoughts on The Game One Win
It was a huge win for us. Obviously when you are playing in an NCAA Regional or any tournament for that matter, getting win number one is the most important thing. I can't say enough about Kevin Decker, who had an incredible start for us. If you look at his line he gave up three earned runs, but I thought he pitched a lot better than that. He is a competitor for us. He made great pitches and kept everything down. He had his change-up going and mixed speeds. We also swung the bats well. The first inning was really big for us. Scoring three runs against an incredible starter like Jake Buchanan. We knew he was one of the front line starters in the ACC and always gives those guys a chance to win. We took good swings in the first inning, caught some momentum and sometimes in baseball when you catch some momentum hitting is contagious. I am really proud of our guys. I thought we competed for nine innings. We ran into a tough spot at the end but Owen Brittle, another senior, came in and battled his way through the last inning for us. I give our guys a lot of credit.
North Carolina State Head Coach Elliott Avent
"Nothing to say but to congratulate College of Charleston, they played well and I thought Kevin Decker pitched well. We don't mind falling behind, we've done it all year, our players have a great sense resiliency to do what they need to do and a great feel for the game I don't think bothered us to fall behind, but it seemed like it gave College of Charleston a little bit of the boost. Credit Decker and their ball club. I will say I am proud of our ball club for once again bouncing back and getting the tying run to the plate to make it exciting. Although Drew Poulk's grand slam got us within two, it was how we got there with bunting and doing some things other than slugging it out like we are known for doing, and I thought we showed more especially with the way Decker was pitching."