April 11, 2010
CONWAY, S.C. - The 13th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (27-5, 8-0 Big South) completed a three-game sweep of High Point (17-16, 4-8 Big South) with a 7-2 victory over the Panthers April 11 in Conway, S.C.
Coastal has now won eight straight games and 27 straight Big South home games. Coastal improves to 8-0 in conference for the first time since 1991.
Coastal would strike first in the first. Junior Scott Woodward reached on a one-out infield single. He would move to third on a failed pickoff attempt by catcher Kyle Mahoney and score on a single through the right side by senior Jose Iglesias.
Coastal starter Jim Birmingham got out of trouble in the first three innings. He induced an inning-ending double play in the first, got Pablo Rosario to strike out with the bases loaded in the second and with a runner on third in the third, got Max Fulginiti to strike out. Birmingham could not get out the jam in the fourth. He hit Steve Antolik to open the inning. Antolik advanced to second on a wild pitch. Andrew Bartlett walked and both runners moved up a base on a Mike Mercurio sacrifice bunt. Rosario brought both runners home on a single back up the box. Junior Matt Rein came in relief for Birmingham and got Murray White IV to strike out. He walked Nate Roberts but got Mahoney to fly out to end the inning.
Coastal would take the lead for good in the fifth, scoring three runs. Redshirt-sophomore Rich Witten led off the inning with a single to left. He moved to second on a single from sophomore Taylor Motter. Both runners would score as junior Rico Noel executed a bunt single and Bartlett threw the ball wide into right field. The Chants went up 4-2 as Iglesias grounded out to short and Noel scored on a close play at the plate. Witten put the Chants up 5-2 in the sixth as he singled to left to score Davis, who reached on an error to open the inning.
The scoring concluded in the seventh as redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella brought in Woodward with a single to center and sophomore Daniel Bowman plated La Stella with a single to left.
Rein earned his fourth win of the season, striking out five and allowing a hit and three walks in 3.1 innings. Freshman Ryan Connolly and junior Matt Laney pitched the final 2.1 innings of scoreless relief. Birmingham allowed three hits and two runs with three walks and two strikeouts in 3.1 innings. The loss went to Jared Avidon, who gave up seven hits and just two earned runs with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.
Witten and Iglesias had two hits apiece for the Chants, while Woodward scored two runs. Iglesias was 6-for-12 with seven runs-batted-in on the weekend. For High Point, Rosario had a hit and drove in two.
Coastal Carolina ends its homestand Tuesday, April 13 against The Citadel. Game time is at 6 p.m. High Point hosts Appalachian State the same night at 6 p.m.