April 1, 2011
CONWAY - Daniel Bowman tied his career high - driving in six, Coastal Carolina hit three home runs and eight of CCU's starters had at least one hit to cruise past Big South-leader Liberty, 17-1, Friday night at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. The Chants improve to 16-10, 2-2 in the Big South and the Flames fall to 15-12, 5-2.
While Coastal's offense was in control, Anthony Meo (3-2) was just as dominant on the mound, pitching seven innings of shutout ball. He allowed just two hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. Liberty would only manage four hits, getting two in the ninth and scoring its lone run. On the other side, Coastal handed LU starter Keegan Linza (5-1) his first loss of the season. He allowed eight hits and nine runs (four earned) with no walks and four strike outs.
Bowman, who was 2-for-4 Friday, also drove in six earlier this season, hitting two home runs at the College of Charleston. He was one of five starters to have two hits Friday as Scott Woodward, Hayes Orton, Tommy La Stella and Taylor Motter each accomplished the feat. Motter and Orton also joined Bowman by hitting home runs.
The game started with both teams getting scoring chances early. Coastal threatened in the second, getting back-to-back hits from Motter and Tucker Frawley, but the two would be stranded on second and third. In the top of the third, Liberty took advantage of two errors and a walk to load the bases, but Meo got a ground ball to escape.
In the third, the Chants' Woodward and Orton started the home half with singles. La Stella advanced to the two with a ground out. Bowman laid dow a perfect safety squeeze to drive in Woodward and Witten followed with a two-out, RBI single. Motter then launched an 0-1 pitch over the left-center field wall for a two-run home run, his first round-tripper of the season to give CCU a 4-0 lead.
In the fourth, Coastal loaded the bases thanks to three straight errors by Liberty - the last two on sacrifice bunts. After a fly out, La Stella served an two-run single into center field. After playing "small ball," Bowman cleared the bases with a three-run home run to left, capping the five-run inning and putting the Chants up 9-0.
In the fifth, Liberty had its best chance to break through, loading the bases with one out thanks to a hit by pitch, single and walk. However, Meo induced Casey Rasmus into an inning-ending double play.
For the third time in four innings, Coastal used the long ball, finishing the night with a total of seven extra-base hits. After a Woodward lead-off double in the sixth, Orton hit his second blast of the season, giving the Chants an 11-0 cushion.
In the seventh, Coastal sent 11 men to the plate and scored six runs for a 17-0 lead. John Fidanza and Jacob May were each hit by a pitch. With one-out, pinch hitter Josh Conway ripped an RBI double down the left-field line. Orton reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases and pinch hitter Tripp Martin plated May the hard way, getting hit by a pitch. WIth the bases still loaded, Bowman hit a two-run double. Fidanza capped the frame with a two-run single to right.
The Flames avoided the shutout, scoring once in the ninth. Justin Richardson had a one-out double to left-center, moved to third on a ground out and scored when Zack Haley reached on an RBI infield single.
Coastal Carolina and Liberty will play the second of their three-game set on Saturday at 4 pm. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.
NOTE: K.J. McAllister recorded his first career hit, a pinch-hit, two-out triple in the ninth.