May 8, 2011
CONWAY - Rich Witten hit a solo home run and a grand slam, while four Chanticleer pitchers combined for CCU's fourth-straight shutout, to lead #29 Coastal Carolina to a 10-0 win and weekend series sweep over Radford Sunday afternoon at Watson Satdium/Vrooman Field.
The Chanticleers, winners of eight straight, improve to 33-15, 17-4 Big South, while Radford falls to 25-21, 10-11. This marks the first time in school history Coastal Carolina has thrown four straight shutouts and now has a scoreless inning streak of 37, spanning five games.
Matt Rein (7-2) helped start the shutout streak, pitching 5.2 innings of scoreless baseball last Sunday in win over VMI. Today, the senior improved to 19-3 for his career and 10-1 all-time in Big South play as he only allowed three hits over five complete, while walking two and striking out two. Keith Hessler, Ryan Connolly and Jordan Coons completed the shutout, allowing just one hit and one walk between them over the final four innings.
Offensively, Witten extended his hit streak to 14 games as he was 2-for-4, hitting two home runs in a game for the first time in his career, and tied his career high with five RBI. Tommy La Stella was also 2-for-4, pushing his season average to .406. Hayes Orton and Taylor Motter each contributed two hits while Scott Woodward also extending his hit streak to 14 games, driving in two Sunday.
For the third straight game, Coastal used the long ball to stake an early lead. Daniel Bowman ripped a line drive home run down the left field line to start the second inning. The blast was Bowman's 11th of the season and 39th of his career. He also moves to sixth on the CCU career RBI list, tying Adam Rice with 154. Radford then committed three errors to lead to a second Chanticleer run. After Keith Hardwick was hit by a pitch, Orton reached on error when laying down a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Jacob May hit into a fielder's choice, but two throwing errors on the play allowed Orton to score for a 2-0 lead.
The Chants added to their lead in the third with a Witten solo home run, his second round-tripper of the season.
Coastal, for the third straight game, scored five runs in an inning and took an 8-0 lead after four complete. With the bases loaded, Woodward walked to bring home the first run of the frame. Then, with a 3-2 count, Witten hit a grand slam to left field. It was Coastal's first grand slam of the year and the first by a Chant since Witten hit one versus the College of Charleston in the 2010 NCAA Region Championship. Witten now has four homers for the season, all coming during his hit streak.
In the fifth, Coastal pushed its lead to 9-0. May singled and stole second. Woodward looped a single to left field, allowing May to score and extending Woodward's hit streak to a career-long 14 games.
Coastal then scored for the fifth consecutive inning. With two outs and runners on the corners, Motter singled through the left side of the infield, driving in Hardwick to provide the final score of 10-0.
Radford starter Bobby Bolling (5-3) suffered the loss. He allowed six hits and eigth runs (six earned) with a walk and two strike outs in 3.1 innings. Matt Hillsinger provided most of the offense for the Highlanders, getting three of the team's four hits.
For the weekend series, Coastal out-scored Radford 33-0 and out-hit RU 40-12.
The Chanticleers will hit the road for a final road series, going to rival Winthrop, before closing the 2011 regular season with four home games. This weekend, Coastal and Winthrop will play Friday at 6 pm, Saturday at 1 pm and Sunday at 1 pm.