GREENSBORO, N.C. – Rob Kral hit three home runs and Jose Rodriguez added a pair of homers himself for College of Charleston, as UNC Greensboro fell to the Cougars, 14-10, on Friday evening at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Freshman Christian Powell picked up his fourth win of the season for the Cougars (15-5, 2-2 Southern Conference) although he gave up seven runs on nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. UNCG (11-6, 0-1 SoCon) starter Blake Hassebrock was credited with the loss after allowing six runs on seven hits in just two innings of work.
Harry Slade led the Spartans at the plate after going 2-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, while leadoff hitter Chris Barker had a 2-5 night with an RBI and three runs scored. Ray Quinones and Lloyd Enzor each chipped in a pair of RBI for UNCG as well.
Kral had a career night as he went 3-6 with five RBI and three runs scored. Rodriguez also had a nice evening as he went 3-4 with three RBI and three runs scored, while Cole Rakar went 4-5 with two runs scored.
Rodriguez got the scoring started in the top of the second as he took the first pitch of the inning over the left field wall to put CofC ahead, 1-0. Jesse Mesa and Greg Blake then hit back-to-back singles and Mesa scored later in the inning on a groundout to make it 2-0.
College of Charleston opened the game up in the top of the third by scoring five runs in the inning. Rakar led off with a walk and Rob Kral delivered his first home run of the game to right center to make it a 4-0 contest. Matt Leeds and Rodriguez hit back-to-back singles to put runners on the corner and Mesa hit another single to center field to score Leeds. Blake then hit a double down the right field line to score Rodriguez and Mesa then scored on a wild pitch to give the Cougars a 7-0 lead.
The Spartans continued to fight though as UNCG got three runs back in the bottom half of the third to make it a 7-3 game. Barker began the inning with a walk and Corey Overholtzer followed with an infield single on a bunt down the third base line. Quinones then singled up the middle to score Barker. After a strikeout, Enzor hit a single to right field to load the bases and Slade delivered a single to center field two batters later to score Overholtzer and Quinones.
The Cougars continued to pour on the offense in the sixth inning as they stretched their lead to 10-3. After UNCG got the first batter to strikeout, Rakar doubled to right center and Kral followed with his second home run of the game out to right field to make it 9-3. Leeds made it back-to-back home runs for the visitors as he took a 3-2 pitch out to left field for his fifth home run of the season.
Once again, UNCG continued to battle back as they responded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Slade singled up the middle and Eric Brindle followed with the same. Taylor Schwarz walked to load the bases before Barker hit a chopper through the left side to score Slade.
Quinones and Jayjack then drew back-to-back walks to score Brindle and Schwarz and make it a 10-6 contest. Enzor followed with a single to right field to knock in Barker and Quinones to pull the Spartans within 10-8.
That was as close at the Spartans would get the rest of the game though as the Cougars added one insurance run in the seventh inning to go ahead 11-8.
The Cougars didn't stop their though as Krol led off the eighth inning with a solo home run to right field. Leeds followed with a walk before Rodriguez took the first pitch he saw out to left center for his second home run of the game to give CofC a 14-8 advantage.
The Spartans continued to fight though in the bottom of the ninth as Slade scored on a sacrifice fly and Overholtzer hit an RBI double to make the final score 14-10.
The Spartans and Cougars will face off in the second game of the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the UNCG Baseball Stadium.
Coll. of Charleston 14, UNC Greensboro 10
Coll. of Charleston. 025 003 130 - 14 18 3 (15-5, 2-2)
UNC Greensboro...... 003 005 002 - 10 13 3 (11-6, 0-1)
Pitchers: Coll. of Charleston - Christian Powell; Dre Watts(6); Tom Schiller(6); Owen Brittle(8); Casey Lucchese(8) and Robert Pritcher. UNC Greensboro - Blake Hassebrock; Greg Smith(3); Wes McBride(7) and Ed Jayjack.
Win-Christian Powell(4-1) Loss-Blake Hassebrock(0-1) T-3:06 A-473
HR COFC - Rob Kral 3; Matt Leeds; Jose Rodriguez 2.
Weather: 67 and sunny
Hassebrock faced 4 batters in the 3rd.
- UNCG -