The College of Charleston(5-1) pitching staff delivered a gem on Saturday, shutting out Rhode Island(1-5), 1-0, to clinch the weekend series over the Rams.
The Cougars won theirfourth consecutive game with the first shutout of the young 2014 season.College of Charleston has not allowed more than three runs in any of the lastfour wins.
Taylor Clarke (1-1) pickedup the win in his second start of the season, going five innings and scatteringfive hits while striking out a career-high seven batters and only walking one.Derrick Smith did not allow a hit in two relief innings, and Hayden McCutcheon(2) finished the game for his second save of the season. McCutcheon walked oneand struck out one in the eighth and ninth innings.
CofC combined for ninestrikeouts and just three walks allowed. Both teams tallied just five hits.
Rhode Island's SteveMoyers (0-2) was impressive on the mound as well, holding the Cougar offense tojust four hits and one run in a six-inning quality start. However, his one runsurrendered was all CofC need to pull out the victory.
College of Charleston goton the scoreboard in the third inning, keyed by a walk from Blake Butler andsingle from Nick Pappas on a hit and run that advanced Butler to third. GunnarHeidt tallied the game's lone RBI on a grounder to the third baseman whofumbled the ball on the exchange out of his glove, scoring Butler.
Rhode Island had anopportunity in the ninth inning after a one-out walk to Pat Quinn put thego-ahead run at the plate. However, McCutcheon got TJ Lynch to fly out toMorgan Phillips and then the freshman struck out Derek Gardella to win thegame.
The Cougars turned twomore double plays from Heidt and Butler to erase threats late in the game.CofC's defense did not make an error in a solid effort to back up the pitchingstaff.
College of Charleston willgo for its first sweep of 2014 on Sunday afternoon at Patriots Point, givingLHP Eric Bauer the nod on the start.
College of Charleston'seight team double plays currently ranks second among all CAA teams. This year,the Cougars have committed just five errors on a 231 chances for a fieldingpercentage of .978.
Freshman Bradley Jones gotthe start at designated hitter and tallied his first career hit, a single inthe second inning.
Ryan Welke, Blake Butlerand Ben Boykin have all reached base in every game they've played this season.Welke and Butler each drew walks on Saturday, while Boykin had the day off.