CofC sweeps series with Hofstra

College of Charleston culminated its third straight Colonial Athletic Association series sweep with a 9-4 victory over Hofstra on Sunday at Patriots Point to remain the only unbeaten team in league play this season.

Charleston (21-7, 9-0 CAA), winners of seven straight and 11 of its last 12, put its prolific offense on display again with six runs on 13 hits, the Cougars’ fourth consecutive outing with 13 or hits or better.

Blake Butler led the way in going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, including his fifth home run of the season. Morgan Phillips went 2-for-4 and also homered, and Champ Rowland was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. In total, eight different Cougar bats recorded a hit and six different players drove in runs.

Four different Cougar pitchers took the mound on Sunday, with Carter Love (2-0) earning the win after entering the game in relief of starter Wade Arduini in the sixth inning. Luke Munson and Chase Henry pitched as well, as the staff combined for seven strikeouts against three walks.

“We played well enough to win today, but I do think we made some mistakes,” said head coach Monte Lee. “But, we did swing the bats well, and defensively we played pretty solidly. We threw the ball fairly well too; Wade (Arduini) threw the ball well and got us into the sixth inning. Carter (Love) made big pitches out of some jams, and Chase (Henry) did a fine job at the end. Overall we threw the ball well; we only gave up three walks. We hit the ball hard, we played well defensively, we won the series.”

After Arduini opened the game auspiciously with back-to-back strikeouts, Hofstra strung together three hits to sneak a pair of two-out runs across in the top of the first inning.

The Cougars cut the deficit in half in their first trips to the plate, with Ryan Brown drawing a leadoff walk and scoring on an RBI single by Alex Pastorius.

The College equalized in the second, after Bradley Jones drew a full-count, one-out walk and eventually scored on Rowland’s RBI single back up the middle.

Phillips gave the Cougars the lead when he homered in the fourth on a 1-0 pitch which sliced down the left-field line and hooked around the foul pole, despite a swirling wind which gusted all game long.

Arduini sat down 10 consecutive hitters from the second to fifth innings, but surrendered the tying run on another two-out rally later in the fifth frame. Steven Foster singled down the third base line, and Brett Johnson dropped an RBI double into center field to plate the run.

The Cougars blew the game open in the sixth inning, ultimately plating five runs on five hits in the inning. Carl Wise boarded the bases with a leadoff single, setting the table for Butler’s two-run smash to left despite falling into a 1-2 count. Jones sparked another rally with a five-pitch walk, and scored once again by way of a Rowland RBI single. Rowland eventually scored on a wild pitch to cap the rally, putting CofC up 8-3.

Butler led the seventh off with a single to left after falling into a 2-2 count and spoiling three pitches on foul balls, and worked his way around the bases to score on an RBI single from Jones.

Hofstra managed a run in the eighth inning to cut the score to 9-4, but would get no closer.

The Cougars will host former Southern Conference rival Georgia Southern at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Patriots Point.