April 16, 2011
CONWAY - Matt Rein pitched a career-high seven innings and struck out a career-high nine batters with no walks to lead Coastal Carolina to an 8-3 win over Gardner-Webb Saturday night at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. The Chanticleers win their eighth-straight league game and improve to 23-12, 9-2 in the Big South, while the Runnin' Bulldogs fall to 20-12-1, 6-8.
Also playing a key role in the win was Coastal sending 11 men to the plate, hitting three doubles and scoring six runs in the fourth inning.
Rein (5-1) scattered six hits, three of which came in the first inning. However, Gardner-Webb came away empty as Jacob May threw out Daniel Merck at the plate for the third out of the inning. It marked May's fifth outfield assist of the season and the Chants' 12th of the year by an outfielder. From that point, Rein retired 18 of his final 22 batters. Rein also had to get four outs in the sixth as Dusty Quattlebaum struck out but reached first on a wild pitch. Undaunted, Rein struck out Scott Coleman looking to end the inning.
After good defense by CCU in the top of the first, Coastal took advantage of a Gardner-Webb miscue in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Tommy La Stella ripped a two-out double. Then, the Runnin' Bulldogs looked to escape but third baseman Scott Coleman's errant throw to first allowed La Stella to score from second.
In the fourth, Coastal expanded its lead to 7-0. Rich Witten had a leadoff single and Tucker Frawley reached after being hit by a pitch. After an out, May doubled to right, driving in Witten and putting Frawley on third. Woodward brought the two home with a two-run double to left-center field. With two outs, La Stella singled to center, driving in Woodward. After a walk to Motter, Keith Hardwick doubled off the centerfield wall to bring home La Stella and Motter.
The Chants added a run in the fifth. Tripp Martin drew a leadoff walk and May followed with a bunt single. After a balk moved the two up 90 feet, Woodward delivered a sacrifice fly to left-center field, the senior's team-best fourth sacrifice fly of the season.
The shutout was avoided in the ninth despite Stefan del Pino striking out the side. With one out, Gardner-Webb got a single by Scott Coleman and pinch hitter Aaron Hayes drew a walk. Left fielder Matt Sapp launched the first pitch he saw over the left field walk to provide the final, 8-3.
Offensively, Woodward finished with three RBI and Hardwick two, while La Stella, Motter, Witten and May each had two hits.
For Gardner-Webb, starter Erik Heiligenstad (2-3) suffered the loss, pitching just the first inning and allowing the one unearned run on the throwing error. Brock Wilson pitched the next 2.2 innings, allowing seven hits, six runs and one walk with four strike outs. Brandon Boling worked the final 4.1 innings, allowing just two hits and one run with two walks and four strike outs. Offensively, Merck, Coleman and Sapp each had two hits, accounting for six of the GWU eight hits.
The teams will conclude the three-game series Sunday at 2 pm.