March 11, 2011
CONWAY - Two of the nation's top pitchers dueled Friday afternoon at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field, but it was Kent State's Andrew Chafin who came out on top as the Golden Flashes (6-5) upset #24 Coastal Carolina (9-5), 2-0, in the first game of the Caravelle Resort Classic.
Chafin, who has yet to give up a run in 2011 (19.2 innings), scattered four hits and two walks over seven complete to improve to 2-0. Justin Gill retired all six batters he faced in the eighth and ninth innings to earn his first save of the year. It marked the first time Coastal Carolina had been shut out since a 3-0 setback to College of Charleston on Mar, 18, 2009 -- a span of 123 games.
Despite getting the loss, Coastal received solid pitching. Starter Anthony Meo (1-2) allowed seven hits and two runs while walking three and striking out five over 6.1 innings. Keith Hessler and Ryan Connolly closed the game and did not allow a hit. Hessler worked 2.1 innings and walked one with four strike outs. Connolly retired the only batter he faced.
Kent State did all the damage offensively they would need in the first on three consecutive hits with two outs. First, Ben Klafczynski hit a solo to home run over the right-center field wall. Next, Travis Shaw doubled down the left-field line. Finally, David Lyon plated Shaw with an RBI double of his own, his going down the right-field line.
Coastal's best chances to break through came in the third, fourth and fifth innings. John Fidanza delivered the Chants' first hit of the game in the third, stole second and, with two outs, Scott Woodward walked. However the two were left stranded. In the fourth, Tommy La Stella had a leadoff single and Taylor Motter walked with two outs but Chafin got a ground out to escape. In the fifth, Woodward doubled with two outs but Chafin once again prevailed by getting a fly out.
After Woodward's double, Kent State pitchers would retired 13 of the next 14 batters to close the game, the lone exception being a Josh Conway single in the seventh.
Day two of the Caravelle Resort Classic will see three games being played at Watson Stadium. UAB and Notre Dame will start the festivities with an 11 am first pitch. The Fighting Irish will turn around and face Coastal Carolina in game two with first pitch set for 2:30 pm. Kent State and UAB will close the day with first pitch set for 6 pm.