GREENSBORO, N.C. – Matt Pegler put together a quality start and the CofC offense tallied 12 hits to lead the Cougars to a 10-4 win over UNCG to finish the 2012 regular season. The Cougars’ win, combined with an Appalachian State loss, gave College of Charleston a share of the 2012 SoCon Regular Season title, the program’s first since 2007.
College of Charleston (37-18, 21-9) will head to next week’s Southern Conference tournament as the second seed as Appalachian State holds the tiebreaker. The Cougars will play seventh-seed The Citadel at 10 a.m. on the first day of the tournament.
Pegler (9-2) went 6.0 innings, allowing just three hits and two runs while walking just one batter and striking out five. He finished the season with a 2.92 ERA, the third-best mark in the Southern Conference. Josh Renfro came in for relief, pitching 1.2 innings and striking out two while not allowing a run. David Peterson pitched the ninth and allowed one run on one hit.
The Cougar offense was led by Rob Harding who hit a three-RBI double in the seventh inning to break the game open. Daniel Aldrich hit a two-run home run in the first inning, his tenth of the season, while Brandon Murray tallied three singles and scored a run with an RBI. Murray finished the regular season with a .315 batting average.
“We had a very good offensive day and a great outing by Matt Pegler,” head coach Monte Lee said. “Our whole pitching staff put together a good game, and we were able to get runners on base and drive them in. I’m proud of the way that we won in the last game of the regular season.”
Marty Gantt and Bradley Goodson managed the top of the lineup well, combining for two hits, three walks and four runs.
UNCG starter Lee Gilliam (2-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs, three earned, in the first four innings. Christian Wolfe hit a solo home run and finished with two hits, while Kris Richards made two hits and scored two runs.
The Cougars jumped out early as Gantt singled and Aldrich homered in the first inning, a two-run shot to right field that gave CofC a 2-0 lead.
UNC Greensboro got one run back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a solo homer from Wolfe that landed in a near-identical spot as Aldrich’s bomb.
College of Charleston added singular runs in the third and fourth inning due to a sacrifice fly from Harding and heads up base-running from Gunnar Heidt and Gantt that took advantage of two UNCG throwing errors.
After the Spartans scored a run on a groundout in the sixth inning, the Cougars opened the game up in the seventh with five runs on four hits. Gantt walked and Goodson and Murray singled to scored Gantt from third. After a walk from Aldrich to load the bases, Harding doubled to the gap in right center to score three runs. He eventually came home on an RBI single from Cody Martin to make it 9-2.
The Spartans managed an unearned run in the seventh and another run in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as the Cougars claimed a 10-4 victory.
The Cougars’ share of the regular season title is the first conference championship for CofC since 2007. CofC’s 37 wins in the regular season mark the 11th-straight season that College of Charleston has tallied 30 or more wins in a season.
The 2012 Southern Conference Tournament will begin on Wednesday, May 23, at Fluor Field in Greenville, S.C. The Cougars will face off against The Citadel in the tournament’s first game at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning.