CofC's Long Ball Costs Wildcats in 4-3 Extra-Innings Loss
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (20-25) took another heartbreaker in game two of the series with College of Charleston (30-13), as a pair of home runs led to a 4-3 10th-inning loss after the Wildcats battled back to take a ninth-inning lead on Saturday at The Ballpark at Patriots Point.
“Today we actually played did some things better than we did the day before, and played a little bit better,” Head Coach Jason Beverlin said. “The bottom line is its just two heartbreakers. You try and learn from what happened, and you’ve got to put it past you quick and come out ready to go tomorrow.”
The polar opposite of the series opener, the Cougars took the first inning advantage, as a two-out Carl Wise single turned into a run on designated hitter Nick Pappas’ RBI single through the right side.
Trailing 1-0, starter Keith Zuniga and the Wildcats settled in, holding the Cougars in check through three consecutive frames, allowing just one CofC runner in that span. The lead grew to 2-0 in the fifth as Ryan Welke came home on left fielder Bradley Jones’ RBI single in the fifth.
The Wildcats showed patience at the plate in the seventh to overcome the two-run deficit, loading the bags with Shaun McCarty reaching base on balls, Jake Welch as a hit batter and Josh Johnson on a single to right field. Left fielder Bryant Munoz chopped a hit to the right side, diving head-first into first to bring in McCarty, forcing a throwing error by second baseman Gunnar Heidt to tie the game at 2-2 on Welch’s score.
Facing CofC’s closer, Michael Hanzlik, Welch beat the throw on a 1-out single to shortstop and scored from second on Johnson’s RBI single to left field, pushing the Wildcats ahead 3-2.
After eight strong innings on the hill with four strikeouts, starter Keith Zuniga yielded to Christopher Waltermire, who struck out the first batter faced. The next batter, Brandon Glazer, proved more troublesome, fouling off five pitches of a nine-pitch at-bat before sending a home run beyond the left field wall to knot the score at three-all.
In the bottom half, CofC third baseman Blake Butler parked a leadoff first-pitch fastball over the center field wall, dealing the Wildcats their second straight extra-innings walk-off loss of the series.
Waltermire (1-5) takes the loss for the Wildcats, while Hanzlik (2-1) picked up the win for CofC, pitching two innings.
At the plate, Munoz and Johnson each hit 2-for-5 with one RBI to lead the Wildcats, while Welch scored two of B-CU’s three runs.
The Wildcats and Cougars return to The Ballpark at Patriots Point for the series finale on Sunday at noon.
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