April 14, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The ninth-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (29-5) earned its 10th straight win with a 12-4 victory over 21st-ranked North Carolina (22-13). Coastal now has won three straight regular-season meetings against the Tar Heels and are tied with VMI for most wins in the country.
Coastal Carolina opened the scoring with four runs in the top of the first. North Carolina starter Jimmy Messer walked juniors Rico Noel and Scott Woodward to open the game. Senior Jose Iglesias sacrificed both runners up a base and both came home on a single up the middle by redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella. Senior Adam Rice then hit his third home run of the season, a shot to left field that gave the Chants a 4-0 lead.
In the third, the Chants added three runs on another big fly. Tar Heel reliever Greg Holt walked Igleisas with one out. He moved to second on a single from Rice. Both runners would come home on sophomore Daniel Bowman's seventh home run of the season, putting Coastal up 7-0. In the fourth, redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore walked to open the frame. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Taylor Motter and scored on Noel's single up the middle. Noel trotted home on Woodward's third home run of the campaign, giving Coastal a 10-0 lead.
North Carolina answered with three runs in the fourth inning. Ben Bunting opened the fourth with a double down the right field line. He would score on a single by Jesse Wierzbicki. Junior Matt Laney walked Levi Michael. Both runners moved up a base on a groundout by Brian Goodwin and Wierzbicki scored on a sacrifice fly from Dillon Hazlett. The Tar Heels scored their third run as Tommy Coyle beat out an infield single, scoring Michael. After a single to Ryan Graepel, redshirt-senior Austin Fleet came in and struck out Jacob Stallings to end the inning.
Coastal scored an unearned run in the fifth. Rice singled to start the frame and moved to second on a throwing error from Bunting. Bowman singled to put runners on the corners. Cody Penny tried to pick Bowman off, but the throw went off the runner, scoring Rice. Coastal then plated a run in the seventh as Noel beat out an infield single, scoring Gilmore and giving the Chants a 12-3 lead.
North Carolina ended the scoring in the ninth on a run-scoring groundout by Michael.
Rice went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI in the win. Bowman and Noel had two hits apiece, while Bowman added three RBI. For the Tar Heels, Bunting had two hits.
Fleet improved to 4-1 on the season, pitching 4.1 innings of relief and striking out six. He allowed just two hits and walked three. Laney gave up six hits and three runs with three strikeouts and a walk in 3.2 innings. Redshirt-freshman Jackson Geary struck out a pair in the ninth.
Messer took the loss for North Carolina. He allowed four runs and two hits in two-thirds of an inning. The Tar Heels used eight pitchers on the night. The 10 straight wins ties a season-best. The Chants won 10 in a row from Feb. 23-March 9.
Coastal Carolina will start a three-game Big South series at Gardner-Webb Friday, April 16 at 6 p.m., in Forest City, N.C.