Cougars survive Western Carolina

MOUNT PLEASANT — Late-inning drama descended on Patriots Point yet again and the College of Charleston (11-7, 3-2 in Southern Conference) came out on top on Saturday, scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth to defeat Western Carolina.

The Cougars, which host the Catamounts again today at 1 p.m. with freshman Nathan Helvey on the mount, scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie and Dre Watts (1-0) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to earn his first win of the season. Redshirt-freshman Morgan Phillips stepped up big after replacing Cody Martin in the second inning, knocking two doubles and scoring two runs. His first double was the first of his career in the fifth inning, while his second double scored Carl Wise for the game-winning run in the eighth inning.

Freshman Alex Pastorius also tallied two doubles with his second one scoring Phillips for an insurance run in the eighth.

Western Carolina’s Aaron Attaway led the Catamounts with two hits and three RBI, and Danny Bermudez scored two runs on three hits. Tyler White and Austin Neary each tallied two hits.

WCU’s Tyler Powell (1-1) suffered the loss for the Catamounts, allowing two runs in the eighth inning to put the Cougars ahead.

Starters Jake Zokan and Morgan McKinney each picked up no decisions as the Cougar weekend starters now have nine no-decisions in 14 starts. Zokan had a quality start by pitching 6 1/3 innings, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs, two earned. He struck out six while only walking one.

McKinney also had a quality start with 6.1 innings and three runs, one earned. He scattered six hits, striking out two and allowing one walk.

The Cougars scored first with an RBI single from Martin in the second inning, scoring Wise. WCU answered with an RBI single from Attaway in the top of the third inning.

A sacrifice squeeze bunt from Gunnar Heidt in the fifth inning scored Phillips to give CofC a 2-1 lead, but the Catamounts plated a tying run off of an RBI single from Austin Neary to tie the game in the sixth inning.

Bermudez hit a one-out double to left in the seventh inning, advancing Bryant Noteboom to third base. The Catamounts took the lead when Attaway launched a Drew Freie pitch into center field to score two runs and give Western Carolina a 4-2 lead.

The Cougars scored two runs in the seventh inning to tie the game yet again after Bradley Goodson got his only hit of the day, an RBI bunt single that fell in between the pitcher and first base. However, the Cougars could not get the go-ahead runs in the seventh inning when Tyler Jackson hit into a bases loaded double play that ended the frame.

Western Carolina threatened in the top of the eighth inning, putting runners on second and third with only one out, but Dre Watts induced a foulout and flyout to end the inning and set up Phillips’ and Pastorius big hits in the bottom of the eighth inning.