Cougars bounce back against Mountaineers

MOUNT PLEASANT — College of Charleston’s pitching staff allowed just four hits and two unearned runs as the Cougars tied the series with a 4-2 win over Appalachian State on Saturday night.

College of Charleston (13-10, 4-4 Southern Conference) responded from a tough loss on Friday night with runs in the fourth, and fifth and sixth innings before Appalachian State (12-8, 4-4) scored two in the seventh. However, the Mountaineers never pulled even, especially after C of C added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The Cougars and Mountaineers meet again Sunday at 1 p.m. at Patriots Point.

Senior starter Jake Zokan (1-1) picked up his first win of the season with a quality start, pitching 62/3 innings and allowing just four hits and two unearned runs. He also struck out eight batters and only walked two Mountaineers.

Senior Dre Watts did not allow a hit and struck out four in picking up his third save of the season, finishing the seventh inning and pitching the eighth and ninth innings.

Appalachian State starter Sam Agnew-Wieland (3-2) earned the loss despite a six-inning start with seven strikeouts. He did give up seven Cougar hits and three runs, while walking four. Josh Wilson allowed C of C’s insurance run in the eighth.

Gunnar Heidt hit his SoCon-leading fourth triple of the season and scored three runs on the game. Brandon Murray went 2-for-4 with two RBI while Bradley Goodson hit a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning. Morgan Phillips knocked two hits and scored a run, and Tyler Jackson had an RBI on two singles.

Brandon Burris tallied two hits for the Mountaineers while Will Callaway doubled and scored a run. Josh Zumbrook picked up the Mountaineers’ only RBI on a groundout.

C of C scored the first run of the game in the fourth inning after Heidt led off with a triple over the center fielder. He scored on an RBI groundout from Murray to give CofC a 1-0 lead. Ben Boykin walked and advanced to second on a balk, but was doubled up after Alex Pastorius lined out to the shortstop.

Phillips singled with two out in the fifth inning and advanced to second after a walk from Blake Butler. Jackson hit a two-out single to right to score Phillips, but was caught off first base and Butler was thrown out at home trying to score during the rundown.

Charleston grabbed its largest lead at 3-0 in the sixth inning with another good leadoff at-bat from Heidt as he walked and stole second base. Murray singled him home for his second RBI of the contest. Boykin reached on an infield error and both runners advanced a base after a balk. However, the Cougars stranded them on second and third after two strikeouts and a foul out.

Appalachian State rallied in the top half of the seventh inning after Murray dropped a fly ball in left field that allowed Callaway to reach second base. Callaway came home safely after running before a groundout and deftly rounding third on the throw to first.

After two more singles, Appalachian State scored a run on failed pickoff attempt that went wide, pulling the margin to 3-2.

Heidt scored again in the eighth inning, reaching base as the leadoff hitter for the third time in the game. He stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and came home on Goodson’s two-out RBI single, making it 4-2.