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Clutch hit helps Cougars to win

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Both teams helped each other out, but in the end, College of Charleston was the one that helped itself.

The Cougars got a pinch-hit RBI double from Dre Watts in the bottom of the seventh to hold off visiting Georgia Southern 3-2 and even the series at a game apiece.

Marty Gantt scored on the hit after having reached on an error by GSU second baseman Ben Morgan.

Both starters went deep into the game. Josh Adams pitched six innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits for Georgia Southern (14-10, 5-3 Southern Conference).

"I thought he pitched really well for us," said GSU coach Rodney Hennon about Adams. "He made some big pitches in big situations when he had to and was able to strand some runners out there. That’s what you want. We had an opportunity to win the game, and couldn’t seem to be able to put anything together today."

Charleston (16-9, 3-2) threatened Adams throughout, but stranded a runner in scoring position in six separate innings.

"In a game like this where both guys are pitching well," said Hennon, "it’s going to come down to who makes a play here or there or who gets the big two-out hit. There were a couple plays we didn’t make today. It hurt us a little bit."

The Cougars got their first run after Gantt walked to start the game. He stole second and took third on a wild pitch before a sacrifice fly by Matt Leeds put Charleston ahead 1-0.

Georgia Southern’s Eric Phillips led off the fourth inning with a first-pitch home run off of Cougars starter Josh Renfro (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 6 K) to even the score at 1-1.

Charleston re-took the lead when Daniel Aldrich skied one to deep right field with a runner on third. Georgia Southern’s Victor Roache made a stab at the catch on the warning track, but couldn’t secure the ball in his glove, resulting in a double to drive in Jimmy Holton and put the Eagles behind 2-1.

With runners on the corners in the top of the seventh, GSU tied it at 2-2 when Tom Richardson scored from third when Shawn Payne beat out a potential double play at first.

Gantt scored unearned in the seventh off the Watts double for the final margin.

Joe Lower pitched the final two innings for the Eagles, striking out two and allowing one hit.

"We needed somebody else out of that bullpen to come in and start for us," said Hennon. "I thought Lower came in and made some quality pitches."

Adams (4-3) took the loss, while Renfro improved to 4-2 on the season.

Andy Moye, who played third base in the first two games of the series, is projected to start the final game of the series today.

Due to impending weather, today’s Game 3 has been rescheduled for 10 a.m.




: A win by GSU will mark career victory number 500 for Hennon as a head coach. … Steve Cochrane extended his current GSU hitting streak to 13 games. He has reached safely in every game this season. … Phillips extended his hitting streak to 17 games. … With the win, the Cougars broke a five-game losing streak.


Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.