For the second time in three weekends, the College of Charleston began a series with a win over a “power five” conference team, defeating the Big 10’s Indiana University 4-2 at Patriots Point on Friday afternoon.
Charleston wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. After Blake Butler reached on an error and Nick Pappas walked, Carl Wise doubled to deep left field to drive in both baserunners for a 2-0 lead.
After Cougars’ starter Taylor Clarke worked out of a jam in the second inning, Butler launched a home run over the left field fence to give Charleston a 3-0 advantage.
Clarke survived a one out double in the fourth inning by striking out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
The Cougars’ starter continued to dominate in the fifth inning, striking out three batters after allowing a single. Clarke set a career high with 11 strikeouts in his eight innings of work.
Charleston threatened in the fifth inning after Butler earned a leadoff walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Pappas, Wise and Morgan Phillips failed to drive him in.
Bradley Jones added another run for the Cougars in the sixth inning, driving a liner over the left field fence for a solo home run and a 4-0 Charleston lead.
The Cougars began the seventh inning with two consecutive walks, but failed to drive home any runs.
The Hooisers scored two runs in the top of the ninth on freshman reliever Wade Arduini, before Chase Henry entered and struck out the final batter to clinch the win for the Cougars.
“The name of the game tonight was Taylor Clarke,” head coach Monte Lee said. “He was absolutely dominant, going eight innings and getting every leadoff out. He didn’t walk a soul and punched out 11 against a really good club. We really should have scored six runs and if we do that, the game is totally different in the ninth inning. We just need to capitalize offensively when we get opportunities to score.”
Indiana went through five different pitchers on the afternoon, with their starter lasting just four innings. Charleston left seven men on base, but made the most of their five team hits and five walks issued by Hooiser pitchers.
The Cougars and Hooisers will play game two of the series tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. with Eric Bauer on the mound for Charleston.