May 26, 2010

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CBI Live: SoCon Game 2: #6 WCU 11, #3 GSU 4

CBI Live: SoCon Game 3: #1 The Citadel 9, #8 Furman 5

CBI Live: SoCon Game 4: #4 Elon 1, #5 Samford 0

CBI Live
Brewer uses late homer, walk to lead Cougars to win

By Phil Stanton Co-Founder


CHARLESTON, S.C. – Justin Brewer was the igniter off the bench.


Brewer had a pinch-hit homer to spark a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth and drew a leadoff walk to start a two-run outburst in the 11th as second-seeded College of Charleston edged seventh-seeded Appalachian State 12-11 Wednesday in the opening game of the Southern Conference Tournament at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.


The Cougars (42-15) will meet the winner of the Georgia Southern-Western Carolina on Thursday, while the Mountaineers (35-17-1) meet the loser at 9 a.m.


“That was a huge win for us,” Charleston head coach Monte Lee said. “I am awfully proud of our guys to play as early as we did and to play 4:15, to stay in the ballgame for 11 innings to battle back against arguably the best reliever in the conference.”


Charleston trailed 10-8 in the ninth before Brewer went deep for the third time this season to make it a one-run affair. Baker Knox was hit by a pitch and sacrificed to second. Following a strikeout, Rakar ripped a single to left to plate Knox with the tying run.


“We have swing the bat well all year,” Brewer said. “The coaches preach to never give in and always have our best swing, and it all came through today. It was big for us.”


Hector Crespo, who hit the second pitch of the game out to left center for his third homer of the season, had a run-scoring double in the top of the 11th to give ASU an 11-10 advantage.


Brewer started the bottom of the 11th with a 10-pitch walk. Pinch-runner Thomas Brittle moved to third as Knox reached on an error. With one out, Joey Bergman singled to right to bring in Brittle with the tying score and advance Knox to third. Following an intentional walk, Rob Kral (right) ended it with his first hit of the day.


“I knew I had to get it in the outfield and find a hole because they were playing me in,” Kral said. “I was trying to put a big swing on it. We battled all day and the team played great. Personally, it felt good to get the game-winning hit after a pretty poor day at the plate.”


The Cougars scored in four of the first five innings to build a 6-2 lead. On a full count in the bottom of the first, leadoff hitter Bergman hit a shot to the wall in left center. Centerfielder Tyler Zupcic had the ball hit off his glove and go over the wall for his fourth homer, tying the game at 1.


Cole Rakar belted a long two-run homer to left and Matt Leeds took advantage of a dropped foul pop to add a run-scoring double in the second.


The Mountaineers put up crooked numbers in three straight innings late. Chris Alessandria was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in a three-run sixth and added a two-run single in a three-run seventh. David Towarnicky had a RBI single and scored in the eighth to give ASU the 10-8 advantage.


Bergman (left) and Rakar both finished with two hits and three RBI. Jose Rodriguez had four hits, while Jamie Holler had three hits and three RBI for the Cougars.


Alessandria had two hits and four RBI, while Crespo finished with four hits and three RBI for the Mountaineers.

(photos courtesy of Southern Conference Media Relations Office)