MOUNT PLEASANT- College of Charleston capped a dominant weekend sweep of James Madison with a 12-2 victory over the Dukes on Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point.
The first-place Cougars (27-12, 10-2) set a new season high with 17 hits as another strong pitching performance and great defense limited JMU (12-24, 4-7) to just two runs on nine hits.
Charleston finished the series with a 23-4 advantage in runs as eight different players had multiple hits. College of Charleston's pitching staff posted a weekend ERA of 0.57 with 18 strikeouts and just six walks.
On Sunday, Charleston scored runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings to put the game out of reach. The Dukes briefly held a 1-0 lead after scoring an unearned run in the second inning, but Charleston scored four runs in the fourth and never looked back.
College of Charleston starter Tyler Thornton (3-4) had a career-long outing, going 71/3 innings and scattering eight hits with just one earned run. He struck out three and did not walk a batter for his third quality start of the season. Nathan Helvey finished the eighth inning and Brandon Glazer made his first career appearance on the mound in the ninth inning. He walked a batter but did not allow a hit.
The Cougars pitching staff has now made 10 quality starts in 12 CAA games this year. Against conference opponents, the Cougars have a league-best 2.00 ERA.
JMU's Mark Gunst (2-6) was tagged with the loss after allowing five earned runs through 51/3 innings pitched.
Charleston's offense saw a career-best performance from Champ Rowland who reached base four times with two hits and two walks in the nine spot in the order. He finished with three runs and three RBIs.
Carl Wise continued his RBI fest with three runners batted in for a team-best season total of 39 RBIs, ranking second in the CAA. Gunnar Heidt extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an RBI single and a run scored.
Nick Pappas and Ryan Welke each posted three hits in the contest, with Pappas' double going down as College of Charleston's only extra-base hit of the game. Blake Butler was successful in all five at-bats, tallying a single, three walks and a sacrifice bunt.
Martin Koon entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and got his first career hit on a hard-hit ball up the middle.
James Madison's Josh Wyatt was the only player on the team to record more than one hit in the game. He scored one of the Dukes' two runs, as JMU stranded nine runners on base.
College of Charleston has a short turnaround before going on the road for two mid-week games. College of Charleston plays at Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night at 6 p.m., and then at Georgia Southern on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. Both games will be carried live on ESPN 910 AM.