Nick Pappas ended an epic 12-inning battle between two bitter baseball rivals with a game-winning hit to right field with two outs in the bottom of the 12th, leading College of Charleston (36-16) to an 11-10 win over Coastal Carolina (22-30).
Both teams threw out the record books and sold out for yet another epic battle of Highway 17. Tuesday night marked the third time in three years that the teams have gone to extra innings, with the home team winning every time.
College of Charleston has now captured five walk-off victories at Patriots Point as the Cougars are 4-1 in extra-inning contests this season.
The teams combined for 21 runs on 29 hits with six errors, three pickoffs, three runners caught stealing, six extra-base hits, 25 runners left on base and 466 total pitches. College of Charleston used eight different pitchers, including two position players, while Coastal burned through seven pitchers. The official game time of 5:13 was just six minutes shy of the CofC school record.
Champ Rowland (1-0) made his first career appearance on the mound for the Cougars in the 12th inning, allowing a hit and two walks before he ended the inning with a bases-loaded strikeout. Nathan Helvey (3.1 IP, 1 ER), Brandon Glazer (0.2 IP, 2 ER), Eric Bauer (1.0 IP, 0 ER), Chase Henry (1.0 IP, 4 ER), Hunter Rice (2.0 IP, 0 ER), Michael Hanzlik (2.1 IP, 1 ER) and Blake Ross (0.2 IP, 0 ER) also went to the mound.
The Chanticleers’ Chad Adkins (0-1) gave up CofC’s game-winning run in the 12th inning.
CofC got the majority of its offensive production from Carl Wise, Pappas and Ryan Welke. Wise hit a two-run homer and finished with three runs, three RBIs and a sacrifice fly, moving into second place all-time in CofC history.
Welke hit a two-run homer to finish with three hits and a walk, while Pappas scored the game-winning run and had three hits and two RBIs.
Ben Boykin set a career high and new team season high with four walks, scoring two runs. Blake Butler had two runs on two hits, while Morgan Phillips had a double and single and two RBIs.
Coastal Carolina’s Jake Kane scored three runs on two hits, while Michael Paez had two RBIs on a game-high four hits.
College of Charleston jumped out to a 5-0 lead with two runs in the first and three runs in the third inning. The Chanticleers cut the lead to 6-3 after five frames and then jumped ahead with a six spot in the sixth inning, scoring six runs on five hits with two CofC errors to take a 9-6 lead.
The Cougars were able to tie the game in the seventh after Wise reached on an error and advanced to third on a single from Pappas. With two outs, Phillips hit a big double to right field to score Wise. CCU had a chance to get out of the inning but an errant throw on a grounder to short allowed Bradley Jones to reach and Pappas to score. The Cougars then pulled the double steal move, getting Phillips home safely before Jones was tagged in an intentional hang up between second and third, tying the game at 9-9.
With the game still tied in the 11th, the Chanticleers looked to put the game away with the bases loaded and just one out against Ross. Steve Whitaker was hit by a pitch to score the go-ahead run, but Ross then struck out reliever Tyler Poole and got Nick Oberg to ground out to end the inning on a fantastic play from Rowland at short.
Welke singled with one out in the Cougars’ half and Gunnar Heidt came in to pinch-run. Heidt forced a bad pickoff attempt at first and he ran all the way to third as the ball rolled down the first-base wall. After Austin Bello was hit by a pitch, Phillips flied a ball into shallow right field and Heidt tagged and beat the throw home to tie the game. Jones nearly had the Cougars celebrating with a two-out single to left field, but Kyle Jackson threw the runner out at the plate.
Rowland kept CofC’s hopes alive by striking out two batters to get out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the 12th inning, setting up CofC’s game-winning heroics. Butler singled to left with one out in the bottom of the 12th and advanced to second on a passed ball. Devon Reed struck out for the second out and then Wise was pitched around for a four-pitch walk. On the first pitch to Pappas, he belted a high-fly ball to right field that landed at the wall and scored Butler to end the game.
College of Charleston looks to keep its momentum going in the final CAA series of the season against the league-leading Tribe of William & Mary. First pitch on Thursday night is scheduled for 6 p.m.