March 25, 2011
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Tommy La Stella and Scott Woodward each went 3-for-3 and combined to account for seven runs as #29 Coastal Carolina (15-8, 1-0) opened Big South Conference play with a 13-2 win over UNC Asheville (6-14, 1-3) Friday afternoon at Greenwood Field.
La Stella hit two home runs to give the junior second baseman five for the season, finishing Friday with three RBI and two runs scored to raise his season batting average 25 points to .333. Woodward, who walked twice to reach safely in each of his five at bats, scored three runs, drove in one and stole his 16th base of the season, raising his season batting average to .333. Coastal's offense was bolstered by Jacob May and Tripp Martin, each adding two hits with May scoring twice and Martin driving in two and scoring twice.
While the offense was rolling, All-American Anthony Meo (2-2) allowed no runs, just three hits and one walk over six innings with three strike outs. The 11-run cushion through six innings was something Meo has not been used to this season as the offense only produced one run in three of his last four starts his starts (scoring zero runs for the junior in the California and Kent State games and just one run last weekend at Pepperdine).
Coastal manufactured a run in the first. Woodward doubled, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch.
The Chants added to their advantage, scoring five in the second for a 6-0 lead. Rich Witten walk and moved to third on May's single. Martin followed with an RBI single and May moved to third to keep runners on the corners. With one out, Woodward singled to drive in May. Then Hayes Orton plated Martin with an RBI ground out. On the play, Woodward moved from first to third and scored on La Stella's two-out, two-strike, two-run home run to right.
Coastal took advantage of three Bulldog errors in the sixth to score five runs and go up 11-0. Martin started the frame by reaching on an error by the shortstop. After a bunt single by John Fidanza, Woodward laid down a sac bunt, but reached on a throwing error, allowing Martin to score. With runners on second and third, Orton reach on a throwing error. On the play Fidanza and Woodward scored and Orton advanced to third before scoring on a wild pitch. La Stella accounted for the fifth run with a solo home run to right-center field.
The Chants added two in the seventh. May led off with a double and scored on Martin's RBI single. Keith Hardwick would reach on a fielder's choice and move to third on Woodward's single to center. Pinch hitter T.J. Young drove in Hardwick when Young reached first on a fielding error.
With two out in the ninth, UNCA took advantage of a Coastal error to extend the inning and eventually score two unearned runs. After the error, Eli Miller drew a walk to load the bases and Catlin Carter hit a two-run double to avoid the shutout.
The win marked the 36th consecutive regular-season Big South Conference win for Coastal, winning its last 10 of 2009, all 25 in 2010 and now one in 2011.
The teams are schedule to play Saturday at 2 pm and Sunday at 1 pm, but inclement weather is being forecast. Please continue to check www.GoCCUSports.com for updates.