April 14, 2013
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Around the Bases
Murray, Cougars Whip
By Sean Ryan
N.C. – Over the years, College of
Charleston has grown accustomed to scoring. A lot.
This season has been a little different for the
Cougars, who feature a younger and less experienced lineup than
in recent years. Through 35 games, Charleston has been held to
four or fewer runs in 17 games (4-13); it is in the bottom three
in the Southern Conference in average (.268), homers (19) and
strikeouts (8.5 per game).
“We’ve been good and we’ve been bad, we haven’t
been in between,” Cougars coach Monte Lee.
Charleston was exceptional Sunday in its rubber
game with Davidson as Brandon Murray (pictrued) went 3 for 5
with two homers, four runs and a school-record nine RBI in an
18-5 rout of the Wildcats. The Cougars (11-6, 20-15) set new
season highs with 18 runs, 19 hits, four homers, seven doubles
and 18 RBI. And they showed the promise of what can be for a
team hot on the heels of SoCon leaders Elon and Western
Carolina, both at 12-6.
(left) ripped a grand slam, the first of his career, in the top
of the fifth to help the Cougars break from a 3-2 game. He added
a two-run double in the seventh and a three-run homer in the
In between, shortstop Gunnar Heidt (3 for 5, 4 R,
3 RBI) ripped a two-run homer, and Morgan Phillips (2 for 4) hit
a solo shot. Blake Butler went 3 for 5 with a double, triple and
three runs, Ben Boykin went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and
Devon Reed contributed a 2-for-2 afternoon with two doubles and
two RBI off the bench.
“When we’ve played well, we’ve hit the ball,” Lee
The Cougars, according to Lee, aren’t as
power-oriented as they’ve been in the past. And with younger
guys in the lineup, he said the hitters are still learning to
hit with guys on base.
Charleston’s pitching and defense, on the other
hand, have enabled the offense to mature. The Cougars lead the
SoCon with a 3.91 ERA, and opponents hit .252 – only The Citadel
(.268) is within 20 points in that category.
“Our starting pitching has been really good, and
our weekend starters have been very good,” Lee said.
Jake Zokan (2-1) tossed six solid innings with
seven hits, two earned runs and five strikeouts for Charleston.
And defensively, Heidt made a leaping, backhanded stab at short
to save a hit, and first baseman Carl Wise, who scored four
times, made a slick play on a foul pop down the right-field
line, gloving the ball as he fell to the ground and grabbing it
with his bare hand when the ball popped out upon impact.
Forrest Brandt went 2 for 4 with two doubles and
two runs to lead the Wildcats (5-13, 10-24). Chris Dyer hit his
first career homer, and Jack McLindon had a pinch-hit, two-run
double for Davidson.
Davidson coach Dick Cooke still is recovering
from the serious car accident he was involved in September.
Cooke, in his 23rd season with the Wildcats, still walks with a
significant limp and wears a knee brace on his right leg for
stabilization. He said after Sunday’s game that he and his
doctors still need to map out a plan to rehabilitate his right
ankle and knee. Cooke was injured when his van was hit from
behind by a speeding driver while driving in Interstate 77.
Among other injuries, he suffered a broken leg and kneecap,
broken ribs and a punctured lung.
(photos courtesy of College of Charleston Media Relations)