College of Charleston battles past Coastal in 12 innings

David Aldrich hit a bases-loaded bloop single to give College of Charleston (35-17) a 9-8, 12-inning win over Coastal Carolina (34-17) Tuesday night at Patriots Point.

With one out in the 12th, Marty Gantt hit an infield single and Bradley Goodson found the hole in the right side of the infield to put runners on first and third. Coastal would intentionally walk Brandon Murray to set up a force at any base before Aldrich fisted a single between Coastal’s Justin Creel and Jacob May for the game winner.

Coastal, falling to 1-7 in extra-inning games this season, got off to a hot start. Ted Blackman had a leadoff double and May followed with a walk. After a fielder’s choice, Rich Witten cleared the bases with a three-run home run to left-center field. It was the senior’s fourth round-tripper of the season. He would add another RBI later to him to 13th on the CCU all-time RBI list with 140.

The Cougars answered back in the home half, using a double and long ball as well to make the score 3-2. Goodson hit a one-out double and Aldrich delivered a two-out, two-run home run to straight away center field.

The Chants came back in the second and scored twice to resume a three-run lead. Creel reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Brian Pruett’s first career triple. Two batters later, May brought home Pruett with a single to right.

The offense continued in the bottom of the second. Murray singled and moved to third on Aldrich’s single to center. Rob Harding brought home Murray with a single and Brandon Glazer cleared the bases with a three-run home run to left field, putting the Cougars on top 6-5.

Coastal used a pair of two-out hits to tie the game in the fourth. Blackman doubled to left and scored on May’s fourth triple of the year, tying the game at 6-6.

Charleston regained the advantage, 7-6, in the fifth. Harding singled and scored on Gunnar Heidt’s double to left-center field.  In the sixth, the Cougars added another run to go up 8-6. Gantt singled, took second on an error and scored on Murray’s single.

The Chanticleers tied the game in the eighth. Blackman reached on a one-out infield single and, after a pop out, Bowman put runners on the corners with a single. Witten ripped a single to left-center, driving in Blackman. However, an error on the play allowed Bowman to come home to make the score 8-8.

Charleston threatened to end the game in the 11th. Aldrich had a leadoff single and Cody Martin walked with two out. Heidt hit a chopper up the middle for an infield hit. On the play, Aldrich tried to score from second, but Creel, who fielded the ball in the outfield grass behind second base, threw out Aldrich at home to send the game to the 12th.

Aaron Burke (8-5) suffered the loss, allowing four hits and a run in 0.2 innings pitched. Ben Smith tied a career high with six strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Dan Watts (1-0) was credited with the win, pitching the top of the 12th, walking one and striking out one.

Coastal Carolina will close the regular season with a three-game series at Charleston Southern. The games are set for 2 pm first pitches on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

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