Feb. 23, 2010
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The 12th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (3-1) used a solid outing from its pitching staff and made the two runs it had in the first four innings hold up in a 2-0 shutout of Wake Forest (2-3) Feb. 23 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Redshirt-junior Jim Birmingham earned the first win of his Coastal career, pitching five shutout innings.
The Chanticleers broke through with a run in the top of the third. Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore opened the frame with a single to right. He stole second and would score on a two-out double to the right field gap by junior Rico Noel. Birmingham then pitched his way out of a jam in the bottom of the third. Birmingham walked Mark Rhine with one out. Patrick Blair then singled to right field to put two runners on. Both Rhine and Blair would steal a base, putting two runners in scoring position. Birmingham battled back as the lefty struck out Ryan Semeniuk and got Steven Brooks to fly out to end the threat.
Sophomore Daniel Bowman would lead off the fourth inning with his first home run of the season, a blast over the fence in right center field.
Wake had two hits with two runners out in the bottom of the eighth, its first hits since the third inning. Blair and Semeniuk had back-to-back singles, but freshman Ryan Connolly got Brooks to ground out to preserve the shutout.
In the ninth, Carlos Lopez opened the inning with a screaming single off the foot of redshirt senior Austin Fleet. Fleet then struck out Mac Williamson and got Mike Murray to fly out to left. Austin Stadler would walk to put runners on first and second but redshirt sophomore Tommy LaStella would make a tremendous play on Justin Lloyd’s grounder in the hole at second to give the Chants their third win of the season.
Birmingham allowed a hit and struck out two in five innings. Freshman Josh Conway pitched two innings of hitless relief with a strikeout while Connolly and Fleet each struck out a batter in an inning’s work. Fleet earned his second save of the season.
The loss was tagged to Justin Van Grouw, who allowed five hits and two runs in four innings. The Demon Deacon relievers did not allow a Chanticleer hit and only had one walk in five innings.
Coastal Carolina will host the Baseball at the Beach Tournament starting Thursday, Feb. 25. The Chants will face fourth-ranked UC Irvine at 4 p.m., at the BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Junior Cody Wheeler will take the mound for the Chants, while UC Irvine will start Daniel Bibona.