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College of Charleston vs. Appalachian State

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C Of C Scoreboard.

I love going to College of Charleston baseball games. Patriot’s Point Stadium is right down the street, it’s Division I baseball, and there’s a few bonafide prospects to boot.

Today, the Cougars faced the Appalachian State Mountaineers in Southern Conference action. It was a solid game through six innings but once the noseums came out and the sun retreated, I decided to leave prematurely.

There were really only two guys I was keeping an eye on during this one: the Cougar’s second baseman Brandon Sizemore and Appalachian’s outfielder Rand Smith. Sizemore was recently named to the Golden Spikes watch list, the top honor for a college player. While he won’t win when there’s dudes like San Diego’s RHP Stephen Strasburg on the list, it’s still an extremely amazing honor for a player of Sizemore’s caliber. Check out this video of Strasburg to see what Sizemore is up against:

Appalachian’s Rand Smith could break some team and conference hitting streaks this weekend so I decided to watch out for him, too.

Charleston’s RHP Jesse Simpson toed the rubber tonight as the team’s “ace,” which is really a moniker for the best a mediocre pitching staff has to offer. Throwing a mid-80’s fastball, a high-70’s curve, and a 79 mile per hour change, Simpson struggled through the first inning, allowing three singles and a run in the process. As the first batter of the game, Smith didn’t waste any time extending his hit streak to 25 games, singling and scoring.

Simpson’s nemesis on the mound was Appalachian’s RHP Matt Andress. Andress, who stands at 6’4″ and 225 pounds, looked to throw a high-80’s two-seamer or straight fastball and a change with an occasional curve thrown in. His fastball was biting early, but thanks to some shoddy defense and poor command, Andress also gave up one run in the bottom half of the frame. Sizemore reached base safely on a hard hit liner to short. The play should have been ruled an error, but was scored a hit.

Simpson made me pay attention in the second, striking out the side on 12 pitches and making Appalachian’s batters look absolutely foolish. He breezed through the third frame too, initiating a double play and grabbing another strikeout.

Andress faltered in the fourth and fifth frames, becoming preoccupied with base runners instead of trusting his stuff and his defense (which at this point in the game was iffy anyways). Final line for him was 5.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 3 SO.

Simpson finished 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 9 SO and got the win.

Jesse Simpson looked good on the mound for Charleston, moving to 6-2.

Jesse Simpson looked good on the mound for Charleston, moving to 6-2.

Sizemore finished 1-3 with an RBI and a BB. I was impressed by his plate appearance in the fourth. He showed great plate discipline by driving in catcher Austin Morgan with a sacrifice fly instead of trying to rocket the ball out of the park or score a hit. Rand Smith went 3-5 with no signs of slowing down at the dish.

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