Cougar Baseball Hosts Appalachian State This Weekend
MT. PLEASANT, SC March 21, 2013 - College of Charleston (12-9, 3-3) enters another home weekend series after splitting midweek games against UConn and The Citadel. The Cougars will welcome Appalachian State (11-7, 3-3) to Patriots Point this weekend, the team that shared the SoCon Regular Season Championship with the Cougars in 2012.
The games will be at the regular 6 p.m., 2 p.m. and 1 p.m. starts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The Cougars struggled against the tough Huskies on Tuesday night, allowing seven runs in the first two innings and never fully pulling back, despite a three-run third inning. CofC managed just three hits in the contest and fell 9-4.
Charleston took advantage of 12 walks issued by the Bulldog pitching staff on Wednesday night and Ben Boykin knocked three hits with two RBI to lead CofC to an 11-7 win over the crosstown rivals. Blake Butler extended his reached-base streak to a team-best 10 games while Morgan Phillips hit his fifth double in the last five days.
All three weekend games will be available on the Charleston Sports Network through CofCSports.com. Jack Ryan, Dennis Trapani and Mike Ward will be bringing you all the action.
Probable Starting Pitchers
Day Name Team 2013 Stats
Friday RHP #40 Jamie Nunn ASU 4-1, 2.31 ERA, 35.0 IP, 10 BB, 33 K
RHP #22 Matt Pegler CofC 1-0. 1.85 ERA, 34.0 IP, 3 BB, 26 K
Saturday RHP #14 Sam Agnew-Wieland ASU 3-1, 6.08 ERA, 26.2 IP, 12 BB, 26 K LHP #30 Jake Zokan CofC 0-1, 3.41 ERA, 29.0 IP, 4 BB, 30 K
Sunday LHP #19 Jeffrey Springs ASU 1-2, 5.75 ERA, 20.1 IP, 9 BB, 21 K RHP #20 Nathan Helvey CofC 2-1, 3.42 ERA, 23.2 IP, 7 BB, 16 K
Series vs. Appalachian State
College of Charleston is 34-11 over the Mountaineers since 1991, but Appalachian State took two of three from the Cougars last season in Boone. The Cougars won the series with Friday and Sunday wins when the teams last played at Patriots Point in 2011.
Scouting The Mountaineers
Appalachian State is 3-3 in SoCon play after winning a series against Davidson and losing a series to Furman. ASU lost two of three to Cornell over the weekend, but bounced back with a 10-2 win over North Carolina A&T.
Appalachian State is averaging 6.6 runs per game with a team ERA of 4.55. Alex Leach leads the squad with a .370 batting average and seven doubles. Hector Crespo is hitting .349 with 14 steals, while Will Callaway has a .310 average and 11 RBIs.
New Year, Same ERA
College of Charleston surprised many with its dominating pitching staff which led the SoCon in multiple categories in 2012. With five pitchers of that staff departed, including four to the minor leagues, some expected 2013 to be a rebuilding year for CofC pitching. However, this season the Cougars lead the conference with a staff ERA of 3.69. They are first in opposing batting average (.258), fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.29) and second in homers allowed (9).
CofC Starters Are Quality
College of Charleston’s weekend starters (Matt Pegler, Jake Zokan and Nathan Helvey) have combined for eight quality starts through the first five weekends (15 starts). They have a collective 2.84 ERA and 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Pegler ranks fourth in the league with a 1.85 ERA and fourth with an opponent batting average of .213, while Zokan ranks fifth with 11 strikeouts looking.
Pegler Moving Up The Record Books
With his 1.01 ERA in 2013, Matt Pegler has brought his career ERA to 3.55 which ranks ninth in CofC history for pitchers over 75 innings pitched. Pegler is also second among active SoCon leaders in career ERA (3.60) and wins (15) and leads all active pitchers with a career opponent batting average of .244.
Freie-ing the Opposition
With the departure of three veteran bullpen arms in David Peterson, Kyle Owings and Nick Osterman, the Cougars have looked to senior Drew Freie to be a veteran presence among the relievers. Freie has answered in a big way, posting a team-high three wins (3-3) record in 12 appearances. He has punched out 19 batters in just 23.1 innings pitched and allowed 10 earned runs for an ERA of 3.86.
Hanzlik Thrown To The Fire
Many College of Charleston fans had not heard of junior transfer RHP Michael Hanzlik when he entered the game on Opening Night against Xavier (2/15). Hanzlik pitched an inning and a third of no-hit ball and earned his fi rst career win after the Cougars scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Hanzlik has now made a team-high 11 appearances with a 1-2 record, one save and an ERA of 2.70. In all but three of his appearances, the game has either been tied or within one run.
Philly From NYC
NYC native Morgan Phillips broke out of an 0-for-11 start to the season with four doubles in seven at-bats against Western Carolina (2/16-17). Looking to become the everyday starter in center field now, Phillips’ second career hit plated the game-winning RBI against the Catamounts in the 8th inning of Saturday’s game. He also hit an RBI double against The Citadel (3/20).
Baby Got Boyk
Junior transfer Ben Boykin has made the most of his opportunities at the plate this season. Despite only starting 16 games at DH and first base, Boykin leads the team with a .333 batting average and a .550 slugging percentage. In four games two weeks ago, Boykin hit his first career home run as a pinch-hitter, tallied three doubles in a comeback win against Elon and then knocked a triple and two RBIs in Sunday’s win over the Phoenix. He now leads the team with eight doubles.
True Freshmen Stepping Up
College of Charleston coach Monte Lee has inserted freshmen Blake Butler and Alex Pastorius into the everyday starting lineup and both players have answered the call early in their CofC careers. Butler is third on the team with a .405 on-base percentage with 10 walks and 12 runs. He also has a team-best 10-game reached-base streak as the Cougars leadoff hitter.
Pastorius hit a two-run homer in just his second start at Jacksonville (2/27) and is hitting .296 with 14 RBI and five doubles. His eighth-inning RBI double against Western Carolina (3/16) helped secure a victory.
Freshman reserve Carl Wise has seen several spot starts and already is tied for the team lead with two home runs and a slugging percentage of .481.
Heidt Not Sophomore Slumping
Sophomore shortstop Gunnar Heidt, one of only two true sophomores on the roster, has been an important returner for the Cougars infield and batting lineup. Heidt has a .308 batting average with 17 runs scored and a SoCon-high three triples. He has a .500 slugging percentage with a team-high 17 RBIs. Heidt has also made a number of good plays defensively, turning eight double plays this season.
Moving Up The RPI
After going 0-3 on the team’s first weekend road trip, College of Charleston has bounced back in a big way, winning eight of the next 12 games, including series wins over RPI top-100 teams South Alabama and Elon. Warren Nolan’s RPI had CofC listed at 138 in week two, but the wins and strong strength of schedule had the Cougars all the way up to 28 before playing Western Carolina. CofC now stands at 62 after facing Top 100 RPI teams in UConn and Citadel.
Don’t Leave Before Stretching
College of Charleston has played 12 games that have either been decided in the seventh inning or later, or have been one-run games at the outset of the seventh inning and through to the end. The Cougars are 5-7 in these close games so far this season. College of Charleston defeated UNC Wilmington (3/5) on a walk-off hit-by-pitch to cap a three-run ninth inning comeback. The Cougars also scored six runs in the seventh inning to come back and defeat Elon (3/9). Against WCU, both teams scored the game-winning run in the eighth and ninth inning for the entire three-game series.
These Boots Are Made For Walking
College of Charleston has shown great patience at the plate so far this year, drawing 105 walks and posting a team on-base percentage of .367. The Cougars lead the SoCon in walks, while Brandon Murray (20) ranks second in the league individually. College of Charleston has drawn 12 walks in a game on two occasions this season, including against The Citadel (3/20).