MT. PLEASANT, S.C. - College of Charleston won its sixth rubber game of the season to take the series from Radford with an 8-2 victory on Sunday afternoon. After the win, Charleston players joined in solidarity with childhood cancer patients by shaving their heads and raising money for cancer research.
The Cougars (24-19) performed well behind a stellar pitching performance from Matt Pegler and timely hitting from the bottom of the lineup. The Highlanders (24-19) committed three errors in the first inning and could only manage six hits in the loss.
Pegler (2-2) picked up his first win since the beginning of March with a quality Sunday start, a role he was familiar with last year en route to a 10-win season. Pegler scattered five hits through seven innings and allowed just one unearned run. He struck out eight batters and only allowed one walk.
Offensively, CofC was led by the six-through-nine hitters who combined for six hits, five runs and three RBI. Ryan Welke hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, while Morgan Phillips and Cody Martin each tallied two hits. Gunnar Heidt hit a two-run double in the second inning for his 11th multiple-RBI game of the season.
Radford Zach Woolcock went 3-for-4 at the plate with a solo home run. Josh Gardiner registered the Highlanders' only other RBI. Starter Keith Fritz (2-3) picked up the loss in a six-inning start, allowing all eight runs, six earned.
Charleston took advantage of three RU errors in the first inning and Ben Boykin and Brandon Murray tallied RBIs to put CofC up 2-0. The Cougars added three more in the second inning with an RBI single from Blake Butler and a two-out double from Heidt that scored Butler and Welke.
Radford finally got on the board in the top of the fifth after a Cougar error set up a two-out single from Gardiner to score Blake Sipe. However, Welke responded in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-out, three-run homer to left field, his third of the season, that put the game out of reach.
After the contest, Cougar players, coaches and staff joined with barbers from the Broad Street Barber Shop to shave heads and raise money for childhood cancer research through the Vs. Cancer Foundation. The funds are used locally for a charity called Hugs for Harper.
"Last year was the first year that we were involved in this," head coach Monte Lee said. "And I really saw the impact that it had on our players. We really enjoy giving back to the community, and I think this is a great way to do that every year."
Overall, 42 people volunteered to have their heads shaved and a number of fans and supporters donated money on the spot. The College of Charleston will continue to accept donations at games and online through the end of the season.