March 2, 2011
MT. PLEASANT - Coastal Carolina sophomore Josh Conway struck out a career-high 12 over 5.2 innings and Daniel Bowman hit two home runs while driving in a career-high six as the 27th-ranked Chanticleers (5-4) handed #18 College of Charleston (8-1) its first loss with a 12-3 victory Wednesday at Patriots Point.
Conway (2-0) only allowed two hits through three innings, but one was a solo home run by Bob Kral, making the score 6-1 in CCU's favor. Conway would strike out the next two he faced that inning, struck out the side in the fourth and struck out the first two he faced in the fifth. Through five, Conway fanned 10 of the 15 batters he faced.
Conway would strike out the first two batters in the sixth and have his streak of 10 consecutive outs (nine Ks) end with a solo home run by Matt Leeds , just the third hit of the game by the Cougars to make the score 6-2. Jose Rodriguez followed with a sharp single to right to chase Conway. Matt Rein came on, got one strike then picked off Rodriguez at first to get out of the inning.
Conway finished with 5.2 innings pitched, allowing four hits, two runs and two walks. The last time a Coastal pitcher fanned 12 was Cody Wheeler in seven innings in a 7-5 win over Charleston Southern last spring (Mar. 19). Rein, who earned the save, allowed one hit -- a solo home run in the ninth -- and struck out two. The 14 strike outs between Conway and Rein were the most for the Chants since fanning 15 at North Carolina on Feb. 24, 2009.
Coastal broke out of its recent hitting slump, scoring three runs in the second. La Stella drove a ball to left-center, which was dropped allowing the second baseman to reach second. Bowman took advantage of the short porch down the left-field line to hit a towering two-run home run. It marked Bowman's first homer of the season and the 29th of his career, temporarily tying him for eighth on the CCU's career lilst with All-American Jose Iglesias. Tripp Martin followed with a double and moved to third on a a Witten ground out. After a John Fidanza walk, starting pitcher Conway helped his own cause with an RBI ground out.
Coastal -- and Bowman -- used the long ball again in the third to put three more runs on the board and make the score 6-0. Taylor Motter reached on a fielder's choice and La Stella followed with a walk. Bowman deposited the first pitch he saw over the left-center field fence for a three-run blast.
Bowman also had a two-home run game last season versus Liberty (May 29) and tied his career high of five RBI, set in 2009 at High Point (April 17).
The Chants padded their lead in the top of the seventh, scoring two to stake an 8-2 lead. La Stella tripled with one out, marking CCU's first of the season, then Bowman walked and stole second. Rich Witten brought the two home with a double down the left-field line.
In the eighth, Scott Woodward drew a one-out walk and Hayes Orton reached on an error. Taylor Motter walked to load the bases and La Stella followed with a walk to plate Woodward. New CofC pitcher Ronald Pena got two pop outs to escape further damage and keep the score 9-2.
In the ninth with one out, Coastal used three walks and a single to push its 10th run across the plate. With the bases still loaded, Motter plated Conway with an RBI fielder's choice. La Stella loaded the bases again with a walk and Bowman established a career high, driving in his sixth run on an RBI walk and putting the Chants up 12-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, Charleston's Leeds hit another solo home run -- it third of the game, but it was just the Cougar's fifth hit of the game to provide the final 12-3 score.
Coastal Carolina will return home to host the Caravelle Invitational this weekend (Mar. 4-6). Coastal will face Ball State Friday at 4 pm. Prior to the game, Quinnipiac and Marshall will play, starting at Noon. Also on Friday, Coastal will have its second annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Day at Watson Stadium.
NOTE: All nine College of Charleston batters struck out at least once.