Cougars 1 win away from Super Regional
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCIV) - The College of Charleston battled back from being down 2-1 to win 6-3 over Long Beach State University in another late-night game in Gainesville.
The Cougars are now one win away from an NCAA Super Regional appearance. They are also the only four-seed to make it to the Regional final this year.
Bailey Ober secured his tenth win of the season and held the Dirt Bags' bats in check all night. This is the first time in school history that the College has had two 10-game winners in the same year, according to CofC.
But much like Friday night's game, thunderstorms delayed play on the field for hours. However, the Cougars managed to start and end the game on the same day.
After a one-run first inning, the Cougar bats were silenced until the sixth inning when Brandon Murray and Blake Butler made it on base and Carl Wise hit a long sacrifice fly to right field that let Butler score and Murray move to third.
Nick Pappas was hit by a pitch on the next play. Welke lined out to the pitcher, allowing Murray to score. And then Ben Boykin hit a two-run shot, giving the Cougars a commanding 5-2 lead in the sixth.
"We had some big at bats," head coach Monte Lee said. "Brandon Murray and Blake Butler did a great job. I thought that Long Beach State played exceptionally well in a lot of different areas of the game. They made a couple of mistakes that cost them, but we were pretty fortunate too. I have a lot of respect for Long Beach State."
Long Beach managed to work around another run, but a Pappas solo shot gave the College a little more insurance on the game as they wrapped up the final inning.
Nathan Helvey came out for a perfect eighth inning, but it was Michael Hanzlik who retired the Dirt Bags for his 16th save of the year.
"Fortunately for us, we scored first. When we score first, we usually win, somehow some way. We capitalized on a couple mistakes and came up with a couple big home runs. Those were huge for us and probably changed the outcome of the game in our direction," Lee said.
Charleston will face the winner of the UNC-Long Beach game Sunday afternoon. If they win there, the Cougars end the tournament and advance. If they lose, they go into a Monday night, winner-take-all championship game.