April 15, 2011
CONWAY - Scott Woodward lead off three innings by reaching base and scored all three times while Anthony Meo struck out seven over 6.2 innings to lead Coastal Carolina (22-12, 8-2 Big South) to a 7-4 win over Gardner-Webb (20-11-1, 6-7 Big South) Friday night at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. Due to predicted inclement weather on Saturday, game time between the two schools was moved up to 11 am.
Woodward reached safely in all five of his at bats, going 3-for-3 with a walk and being hit by a pitch. With his walk, Woodward now has 159 for his career, moving into a tie for second on the Big South all-time list. (Coastal's Ryan McGraw owns the league record with 179.) Woodward also stole his 148th career base, and 21st of the season, to put him 12 shy of the CCU and Big South record of 160, also held by McGraw.
Meo (5-2) retired the first six batters he faced then had to work of out jams in the third, fourth and fifth innings. In the third, GWU had runners on second and third with one out, but the Bulldogs failed on a safety squeeze and Meo got a ground out to escape. In the fourth, Gardner-Webb would score twice in the fourth, with Coastal throwing out a third run at the plate to end the rally, and leave runners on first and third in the fifth. After retiring six straight, Meo walked his only two batters of the night, but Keith Hessler, who retired all four batters he faced over 1.1 innings, came out of the bullpen to get a fly out. Meo allowed eight hits, two runs and two walks to run his career Big South record to 17-2, including 15 straight wins in conference play.
Coastal took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Woodward hit a leadoff home run to right field, his second round-tripper of the season. Coastal would put runners on second and third after a Tommy La Stella walk and Daniel Bowman double, but the two were left stranded. La Stella finished 2-for-4 and Bowman ran his hitting streak to nine games with 11 extra base hits over the span.
In the third, Woodward played a key role in the Chants going up 2-0. The senior had a leadoff single, moved to second on Hayes Orton's single and advanced to third on a fly out. Bowman nearly cleared the bases with a deep fly ball to the warning track in left-center field, but settled for a sacrifice fly that brought home Woodward.
Gardner-Webb answered with two runs in the top of the fourth, tying the game at 2-2. Jake Watts double to start the frame and Dusty Quattlebaum followed with a bloop single. With one out, Adam McFarland doubled to right-center field to plate Watts and put runners on second and third. John Harris singled, to drive in Quattlebaum. On the play, McFarland tried to score from second, but was gunned down at the plate on a one-hop strike to Tucker Frawley, the 11th outfield assist by the Chanticleers this season.
Coastal regained the advantage in the home half of the fourth, scoring once to go up 3-2. Taylor Motter walked and would work his way to third after a Keith Hardwick single. Frawley laid down a bunt and Motter would score on safety squeeze.
Woodward was at it again in the fifth, leading off and reaching on a hit by pitch. Coastal would then load the bases after a La Stella single and Bowman walk. Motter made the score 4-2 with an RBI ground out. A Witten walk would re-load the bases and Hardwick followed by getting an RBI the hard way, being hit by a pitch.
The Chants tacked on two insurance runs in the seventh to take a 7-2 lead. Rich Witten walked and Hardwick reached on an infield single. On the play, a throwing error put runners on second and third. Jacob May doubled down the left field line to bring home the two.
The runs would come into play in the ninth. Pinch hitters Matt Sapp and Danny Yelverton had a single and a double, respectively, to start the inning and give GWU its first hits since the fifth inning. Aaron Miller then brought the two home with a two-run triple. Josh Conway came out of the bullpen for Coastal and, after a walk, got a strike out and two pop outs to end the game and earn his third save of the season.
For Gardner-Webb, Watts and Harris each had two hits with Miller driving in two. Starter Emilio Pagan (2-1) allowed six hits and five runs over 4.2 innings to suffer the loss. He also walked four and struck out three.