Cougars still battling for SoCon title

College of Charleston baseball coach Monte Lee says the Cougars have to play well this weekend at UNC Greensboro in order to catch Appalachian State for the Southern Conference regular-season title. Staff/File

It is an uphill battle, but the College of Charleston’s hopes for a Southern Conference baseball regular-season title are still alive heading into the final weekend of the regular season.

The Cougars begin a three-game series at UNC Greensboro today and need to make up one game on league-leading Appalachian State. The College of Charleston has a 19-8 league record (35-17) overall while Appalachian State is 20-7 in the league and 37-12 overall. The Mountaineers also are on the road starting today at Western Carolina.

“This series is huge for us. We could finish anywhere from first to fourth in the conference so it’s critical for us to play well,” said Cougars coach Monte Lee, noting that Samford and Elon have slight mathemical chances to pass Charleston if the Cougars stumble at Greensboro.

Charleston is coming off a dramatic 9-8, 12-inning win over Coastal Carolina Tuesday and has a good shot at earning an at-large NCAA bid if they fail to win the Southern Conference’s automatic bid for winning the tournament. Charleston is 35th in one RPI ranking and 37th in another. The SoCon Tournament will be played May 23-27 at Fluor Field in Greenville.

The Cougars’ pitching rotation this week will be a trio of juniors – Christian Powell (8-3, 2.35 ERA), Ryan West (4-3, 3.40 ERA) and Matt Pegler (8-2, 2.92 ERA). Starting times are 6 p.m. today and Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.