MOUNT PLEASANT - College of Charleston (33-15) scored two runs in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie and take a win over USC Upstate (14-34) on Wednesday afternoon at Patriots Point.
The Cougars were efficient with five runs on five hits, also taking advantage of five walks and a hit-by-pitch from the Spartans' pitching staff.
Hunter Rice (1-0) earned his first career victory as he was in the game when the Cougars retook the lead in the sixth inning. Five different pitchers took the mound with each going two innings. They combined for 11 strikeouts and three walks, scattering seven hits. Michael Hanzlik pitched a perfect ninth inning with two punchouts for his 10th save of the season. Hanzlik is now tied for fifth all-time with 11 career saves.
The Upstate pitching staff used four pitchers with starter Zach Mitchell going four innings and allowing three runs on four hits. Brian Boocock (0-1) allowed two unearned runs in the sixth inning to take the loss.
Morgan Phillips tallied the go-ahead RBI with a triple to right center that scored Brandon Glazer from first base. Phillips finished with a run and a walk, while Glazer had two runs on one hit and by reaching on a throwing error.
Carl Wise led the team with two RBIs in the first and third innings. His sacrifice fly in the first inning marked his eighth of the season, tying for third in the CofC seasonal record book.
Blake Butler scored a run and had an RBI with a walk and HBP. Nick Pappas, Champ Rowland and Bradley Jones also had hits.
The Spartans were led by Luke Weber, who hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and also hit a double.
CofC scored first with a run in the first inning with a walk from Butler and hit from Pappas that sent Butler to third. Wise hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Butler came home to score. The Spartans tied it in the second inning with an RBI single from Stephen Dowling, but the Cougars retook the lead in the third with a groundout RBI from Wise.
Charleston got two infield hits from Glazer and Jones in the fourth inning, and Glazer eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Upstate's Weber launched a two-run homer in the sixth inning off Rice to tie the game, but CofC immediately responded in the bottom of the inning when Glazer reached on an error and Phillips tripled to right center. After a walk to Rowland, Butler was able to beat out a double play ball to score Phillips and Charleston took a 5-3 lead.
Chase Henry pitched two perfect inning with three strikeouts and Hanzlik closed the door in the ninth for a 5-3 win.
College of Charleston heads to Hofstra this weekend for a crucial series. First pitch on Friday afternoon will be at 3 p.m.