March 8, 2010
CONWAY, S.C. – The seventh-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (11-1) earned another come-from-behind victory over Ball State (3-8) in a 3-2 last at-bat win March 8 on the final day of the Caravelle Resort Invitational in Conway, S.C. Sophomore Taylor Motter had an RBI fielder’s choice that scored classmate Daniel Bowman for the win.
Coastal trailed 2-1 until the bottom of the eighth when junior Rico Noel blasted his second home run of the season over the wall in left center, tying the game at two. Ball State got the first out in the bottom of the ninth, but Bowman would reach on an error by Heath Riley and move to second on the wild throw. Senior Adam Rice then reached on an infield single. Seth Hobbs came out of the Ball State bullpen and got pinch hitter Rich Witten to pop out, but walked freshman Josh Conway. That set up Motter’s heroics. He grounded to third, but Stephen Claypool went to second to force Conway. Conway beat the throw and Bowman score to give the Chants their ninth straight win, this one in dramatic fashion.
Coastal got on the board in the first as Noel led off the game with a double, stole third and scored on an error by Zach Dygert. Ball State would answer in the third as Mitch Widau single and went to third on a T.J. Baumet double. Kolbrin Vitek would fly out to center to score Widau.
In the top of the fourth, Ball State scored an unearned run. Stephen Claypool reached on a Rice error. Redshirt-junior Jim Birmingham then walked Wes Winkle and hit Widau to load the bases. Coastal brought in redshirt-sophomore Keith Hessler with a 1-0 count on Baumet. Baumet would walk to force in Claypool to give the Cardinals the 2-1 lead.
Noel went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI in the win. Noel and Motter had the two RBIs for the Chants. For Ball State, Baumet went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Conway earned the win, pitching 2.2 innings of relief with three strikeouts. Birmingham started the game for the Chants. He gave up two hits, an earned run, struck out four and walked four in 3.2 innings. Hessler went the middle 2.2 innings, giving up two hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
Riley was tagged with the loss in 1.1 innings of relief. He gave up two hits and an earned run. Vitek made the start on the mound for the Cardinals. He allowed four hits and a run in four innings. Cody Elliott then struck out four in three innings of relief.
Coastal left a season-high 16 runners on base as the Chants got the leadoff hitter on base in five of the nine innings.
The Chants will host Wake Forest Tuesday, March 9 at 4 p.m.