MOUNT PLEASANT — Junior Taylor Clarke tossed his second complete game of the season while the College of Charleston exhibited another explosive night offensively to propel the Cougars to an 11-3 victory over Elon in game one of a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series Friday night at Patriots Point.
Charleston (23-7, 10-0 CAA) has won nine straight games and 13 of its last 14, remaining unbeaten in the CAA this season and improving to 10-0 in conference play for the second time in program history.
Clarke (7-1, 1.88 ERA this season) went the distance for the Cougars, offering his fourth straight quality start and seventh in nine starts this season. The righty held the Phoenix offense — which was averaging 9.8 hits per game — to three runs on seven hits, while striking out nine and limiting himself to one walk.
Offensively, Champ Rowland picked up a career-high four hits on the night with an RBI and run scored, while Erven Roper became the ninth Cougar to homer this season and finished the game with three RBIs. Carl Wise hit his ninth long ball of the year, and joined Nick Pappas and Blake Butler with multiple hits, combining for four RBIs and four runs scored between them.
Charleston virtually put the game out of reach from the start, plating seven runs and batting around in a five-hit first inning. With runners on the corners by virtue of a couple free passes, Butler doubled to the corner in left and Morgan Phillips singled through the left side, giving the Cougars a 3-0 cushion. With two outs and two on, Bradley Jones sent a full-count RBI single to center, and Roper cleared the bases with his long ball to right-center on a 1-1 pitch. As the ninth batter to the plate, Rowland drove a triple to the warning track in right center, and scored on a wild pitch to push the lead to 7-0.
The Phoenix mustered a response in the second, with James Venuto leading off with a solo home run, only the third given up by Clarke in 62.1 innings this season. Back-to-back singles put runners on the corners with no outs, and the Cougars wisely conceded a run when they rolled up a 4-6-3 to alleviate the situation.
The Cougars took the runs back in the bottom half, with Wise doubling down the left-field line, Butler singling to right-center, and Pappas doubling to center, pushing the lead back to seven runs at 9-2.
The score stayed there until the sixth, when Wise homered to straight-away center field for his ninth of the season with one out and a full count.
Pappas doubled off the top of the wall in center to start the Cougar seventh, and later scored on a two-out RBI single by Rowland.
The Phoenix managed a run on two hits in the ninth, but Clarke picked up two more strikeouts in the final inning to solidify the win.
The two teams resume the series at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Charleston Southern piled up 14 hits and junior Andrew Tomasovich struck out 11 to pick up his fifth win as the Buccaneers topped Gardner-Webb, 8-5, Friday night at CSU Ballpark.
CSU improved to 14-18 overall and 4-6 in Big South play, while Gardner-Webb fell to 17-17 and 5-8.
The Bucs’ 14 hits were their most this season in Big South play and Tomasovich (5-3) controlled the late innings, settling down after a choppy start.
CSU had seized control with an 8-4 lead heading into the ninth, but reliever Denis Buckley had to come out with no outs and the bases loaded to pick up his second save of the season. He retired all three batters he faced.
Chase Shelton and Cole Murphy had three hits each for the Bucs.
Game two in the series is Saturday at 4 p.m.
Despite a two-hit and one RBI outing by Citadel shortstop Johnathan Stokes, Wofford posted a four-run sixth inning to defeat The Citadel, 5-1, in the series opener Friday night at Riley Park.
Wofford’s Alec Paradowski lined a single to left field in the first off of Citadel starter James Reeves, who tossed a no-hitter in his last start against Mercer on April 3. The Bulldogs’ defense allowed no runs in the first, with first baseman Conor Clancey tagging Paradowski as he doubled back, and Reeves stranding an additional runner on first.
The scoreboard remained silent through the fifth until an RBI single by Stokes sent Clay Martin home, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 advantage.
Wofford’s Carson Waln responded with a two-RBI triple in the sixth to claim the lead. An RBI by Matt Pelt followed, extending the Terriers advantage to 3-1. Pelt rounded home on a throwing error by Citadel catcher Ryan Kilgallen, closing out Wofford’s four-run inning.
Pelt scored his second run in the eighth, initially reaching on a fielder’s choice and rounding home on an RBI-double off the bat of Wofford’s Max McDougald, settling the score at 5-1.
Milburn and Wofford reliever Jacob Condra-Bogan foiled a Citadel comeback attempt, allowing Condra-Bogan to claim his second save of the season after working out of a bases-loaded situation in the eighth.
The Citadel’s Drew Ellis was 2-for-5 on the day and was stranded on base following both hits. Connor Walsh also had a multi-hit outing, going 2-for-4.
Milburn was awarded the win, improving his overall record to 8-0. The righty threw seven innings in which he allowed one earned run, 10 hits, walked two and struck out four.
Reeves was charged with the loss, dropping his record to 5-2. The lefty tossed six innings, allowing four runs, three earned, five hits and walked two batters and struck out five.
The series against Wofford continues Saturday at 2 p.m.
CHESTNUT HILL, MASS. — Matthew Crownover pitched 6.0 scoreless innings and Clemson broke the game open with five runs in the seventh inning in its 15-6 victory over Boston College on Friday at Commander Shea Field.
The Tigers improved to 17-17 overall and 8-8 in the ACC. The Eagles dropped to 15-17 overall and 5-10 in ACC play.
In the fourth inning, Reed Rohlman lined a two-out double and scored on Chris Okey’s double. Chase Pinder followed with a single to score Okey, then the Tigers tacked on an unearned run in the fifth inning. Pinder belted a run-scoring double in the sixth inning, then Rohlman laced a three-run double in the seventh inning. Okey added a two-run homer later in the frame. Drew Wharton gave Clemson double-digit runs with a two-run single in the eighth inning and Okey, who was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, added another run-scoring single in the frame.
Crownover (6-1) earned the win, as he allowed just three hits, no runs and four walks with three strikeouts. Paul Campbell, a native of nearby Malden, Mass., pitched 3.0 innings to record his first career save. Mike King (0-2) suffered the loss, as he gave up five hits, three runs (two earned) and no walks with six strikeouts in 5.0 innings pitched.
The series continues Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
GAINESVILLE, FLA. — A six-run bottom of the fifth inning broke a 3-3 tie as 10th-ranked Florida routed South Carolina on Friday night at McKethan Stadium.
The Gamecocks dropped to 23-12 and 6-7 in the SEC, with Florida now 26-9 and 7-6 in league play.
Florida reliever Bobby Poyner (2-1) pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win. Poyner, Shaun Anderson and Frank Rubio combined for five hitless innings of relief with just one walk to limit the Gamecocks after Carolina had three runs on eight hits in the first five innings. South Carolina starter Wil Crowe (3-4) allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings with three walks and three strikeouts.
Trailing 3-0 after the first inning, the Gamecocks fought back to tie the game at 3-3 with a pair of runs in the second and one in the fifth. DC Arendas led off the second with a single and with two outs scored on Gene Cone’s RBI base hit to right-center. The Gamecocks put together two more two-out base hits as Max Schrock singled and Kyle Martin singled to right field, scoring Cone. The Gamecocks then tied it in the fifth inning. Schrock singled for his third hit of the game followed by a base hit up the middle by Kyle Martin. After a walk to Elliott Caldwell loaded the bases, Florida made a pitching change, bringing in senior left-hander Bobby Poyner to replace UF starter Logan Shore. The Gamecocks tied it up on a 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Gore to score Schrock.
The Gators batted around in the bottom of the fifth with six runs on seven hits including six consecutive hits at one point in the frame to take a 9-3 lead. Christian Hicks led off the inning with a solo homer. A RBI double from Harrison Bader, RBI single from Peter Alonso, RBI double off the bat of Buddy Reed and JJ Schwarz’ RBI double helped push the Gators’ lead to six runs. Florida would add one more in the sixth inning and four more in the seventh to complete the scoring.
Florida outhit Carolina 17-8 on the evening. Bader and Reed had three hits apiece, with Alonso, Schwarz and Jeremy Vasquez with two hits apiece as well. All nine Florida starters had at least one hit in the game. Schrock went 3-for-4 to lead the Gamecocks at the plate with Kyle Martin adding two hits.