May 8, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Ryan Connolly pitched a career-high 6.2 innings in relief, while Daniel Bowman and Rich Witten each delivered three hits to give #29 Coastal Carolina (33-14) a 6-1 win at Michigan (19-29) Tuesday night at the Wilpon Complex.
Connolly improves to 3-2 as he struck out a season-high six while scattering four hits and one walk. Connolly's previous long came his freshman year when he pitched 4.1 innings and struck out a career-high seven versus The Citadel. Bowman, who was 3-for-4 with two doubles, is now batting .404, marking the first time the senior has eclipsed the .400 plateau in his career.
Coastal Carolina took an early 2-0 lead. With two outs in the third inning, Jacob May lined a triple to left center field. Bowman, who had doubled in his first at bat, singled to left field to bring home May. Two pitches later, Witten doubled off the left field wall to drive in Bowman. Witten now has a team-best nine game-winning RBI this season and Bowman scored what proved to be the game winner for a team-best eighth time.
Michigan answered with a run in the home half. Cole Martin had a leadoff single and moved to third on Patrick Biondi's double. CCU starter Ben Smith walked Michael O'Neill to load the bases and mark the end of his day as he was on a pitch limit. Connolly came out of the bullpen and got a ground out, allowing Martin to score. Connolly would limit the damage by getting Coley Crank to fly out and end the inning.
Coastal loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth but could only score once. Sloan Gilliam singled, Justin Creel had a bunt single and Brian Pruett was hit by a pitch. New Michigan pitcher Kyle Clark got a double play, allowing Gilliam to score, and a strikeout to quell the threat.
The Chants extended their advantage to 5-1 in the sixth. Pruett reached on a one-out single and moved third on Ted Blackman's hit-and-run single. After a wild pitch moved Blackman to second, May hit a deep fly ball to center, to bring Pruett home and advance Blackman to third on the sacrifice fly. Witten welcomed new pitcher Jay Perry with an RBI single.
In the eighth, Bowman used his speed to create a double, mirroring his double in the first inning. In both cases, he hit the ball in the gap, but sprinted out of the box to turn what most would settle for a single into a double. The hustle paid off as Witten followed with a single, which allowed Bowman to score to give Coastal a 6-1 lead.
Coastal Carolina and Michigan will meet again Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6 pm.
NOTES: Tucker Frawley threw out a base runner in the first inning. He has thrown out 21 of 39 (53.8 percent) base runners this season and, dating back to last season, has thrown out 32 of his last 61 (52.5 percent).
Daniel Bowman needs two runs scored to become the second player in Big South history with 200 runs and 200 RBI in a career (Winthrop's Jacob Dempsey is the first) ... Bowman also needs two runs scored and 12 hits to become first player in Big South history with 200 runs, 200 RBI and 300 hits.
With the two runs scored Tuesday, Bowman now has 198 for his career moving to sixth (tied) on the Big South all-time list. With three hits, Bowman now has 288, moving into a tie for eighth on the Big South career list. Also, with five total bases Tuesday, Bowman, already the CCU career leader, now has 500 total bases to rank third on the Big South all-time list.
Bowman also tied the CCU record for career starts with 230. He tied CCU Hall of Famer Ryan McGraw, who was on hand to witness Bowman's impressive performance ... Bowman is third on the CCU career runs scored list with his 198, trailing Scott Woodward's Big South record of 251 and McGraw's 232.