Top-seeded College of Charleston has been bounced out of the Southern Conference tournament. The Cougars led Appalachian State 10-5 after five innings, but the fourth-seeded Mountaineers scored two runs in the sixth and four more in the eighth to steal an 11-10 victory. Appalachian State has now won nine of its last 12 games and is in good position to run through the SoCon tournament and earn an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. CofC, meanwhile, might find itself left out of a regional despite winning the SoCon’s regular-season crown and having a strong RPI (33). If Western Carolina wins a game or two but does not win the conference tournament, the Catamounts could get an at-large bid out of the SoCon, but three bids seems too ambitious.
This is where College of Charleston will pay the price for its weak nonconference schedule. With a few high-profile series wins under its belt, the Cougars could have been assured of a regional regardless of what happened in the conference tournament. But CofC’s toughest nonconference series were against Texas-San Antonio and Charlotte, and the Cougars lost both of them. Their resume lacks a signature win to hang their hats on.