April 26, 2013
CLINTON - After rallying to win game one of a doubleheader at Presbyterian College, Coastal Carolina stranded 10 men on base as the Blue Hose captured game two 5-3 in Clinton.
The setback, only the second ever at the hands of PC, drops Coastal to 26-17 (12-5 Big South). The two-game split moves PC to 23-21 on the season and 9-8 against conference competition.
Just as they did in the first game of the twin billing, the Chanticleers got on the scoreboard first. Jake Kane led off with a single and advanced to third on a failed pickoff move by PC pitcher. Josh Powell, who got the starting nod behind the plate, plated Kane with a sac fly to right, giving the traveling Chanticleers an early 1-0 lead. Two batters later Zach Remillard ripped a double down the left field line; however, he would be stranded on second as the inning ended.
After four innings of being shutout, Presbyterian College found a big inning in the fifth, taking a 3-1 lead in the process. The Blue Hose led off the inning with three straight bunts that yielded base runners on second and third with only one out. Chanticleer pitcher Seth Lamando induced a Jay Lizanich fly out before intentionally walking Aaron Preston to load the bases. First baseman Ben Zebedis then ripped a hot back up the middle that scored Robby Swab and Ryan Hagan. With Cam McCrae at the plate, Zebedis broke for second but got caught in a rundown between first and second. While Zebedis was in the rundown, Preston took off for home. The Chants recognized the steal attempt at home, but Zebedis slid under Powell's tag attempt, extending PC's lead to two runs. Lamando escaped the inning without any more damage with a strikeout of McCrae.
The Blue Hose added a pair of runs in the sixth to stretch their lead to 5-1. Brandon Paul tripled to left to start the inning and was drove home by Nathan Chong's seeing-eye single to center. Chong then stole second and came around to score PC's fifth run of the game on single to right off the bat of Swab.
Coastal countered with two runs of its own in the seventh, cutting their deficit to 5-3. Nick Oberg reached on a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Following a walk issued to Anthony Marks, Ted Blackman hit into what looked like a double play, but the PC second baseman made a wild throw over to the shortstop who was covering the bag, allowing Oberg to score and all the runners to reach safely. A PC pitching change was met by an RBI single by Jacob May, scoring Marks. That would be the end of the Chanticleer threat as a Willis hit into an easy fielder's choice to end the inning.
Ryan Connolly then came on in relief of Lamando in the bottom of the seventh and proceeded to shut the Blue Hose down in both the seventh and eighth. The senior struck out three and lowered his ERA to a team-best 1.40.
The Chants threatened in the top of the ninth with two outs. May beat out an infield single to third and Will Remillard drew a walk bringing Willis to the plate. The threat would not come to pass a Willis, who represented the winning run, flew out to center to end the game.
PC starter Chandler Knox (4-4) earned the win. He pitched 6.1 innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs and two walks with two strikeouts. Lamando (4-3) suffered the loss. He pitched six innings, allowing five runs, eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
First pitch of the series rubber match is set for noon on Saturday.