May 21, 2011
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the second, hitting for the cycle in the inning and sent 11 men to the plate, and held on for 10-5 win over Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.
The game was the 2011 regular season finale for both teams with the 26th-ranked Chanticleers finishing with a 37-18 record overall, 20-7 in the Big South. Coastal, who won its fifth-straight Big South regular season title, will be the number one seed at next week's Royal Purple Big South Conference Championship, hosted by VMI. The Chants will have a first-round bye and face the lowest seed remaining after the first round on Wednesday (May 25) at 11 am.
Prior to the game, Coastal Carolina honored its six seniors (Hayes Orton, Matt Laney, Jim Birmingham, Keith Hardwick, Matt Rein and Scott Woodward). Woodward would close his career at home going 2-for-5 with two RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Woodward, who got a curtain call after his final at bat, has 246 career runs scored (a CCU record and one shy of the Big South record); 156 carer stolen bases (four shy of the CCU and Big South records); 168 career walks (nine shy of the CCU and Big South records); 251 career hits (tying David Sappelt for fourth on the CCU all-time list) and 134 career RBI (tying Rico Noel for 16th on the CCU all-time list).
Rein closed the game, getting two ground outs and a pop out, to extend his personal scoreless innings pitched streak to 21.1, covering five games (three starts with a complete-game shutout).
Daniel Bowman started the second with a double, stole third, scored on a throwing error and capped the scoring with an RBI triple. In between, Taylor Motter hit a two-run home run, Woodward had an RBI double and Tommy La Stella, who extended his hit streak to 15 games, had a two-run double off the top of the right-center field wall.
The Buccaneers bounced back to score one in the third. With one out, Drew Woodall, Brantley Meier and Alex Tomasovich hit three consecutive singles. Woodall would score on a wild pitch, but CCU starter Keith Hessler recorded back-to-back strike outs to limit the damage.
Hessler (2-2) would get the win as it was declared prior to the game Coastal would use multiple pitchers throughout the game. He allowed four hits over three innings, with a run, no walks and those two key strike outs.
The Chants tacked two runs in the third. Motter walked, stole second and third and scored on an error. Woodward made the miscue sting with an RBI double. However, Charleston Southern got those two runs back in the top of the fourth. After a leadoff single by Nick Chinners, Tom Burkett hit a two-run home run to right field, making the score 9-3.
Charleston Southern used the long ball once again, making the score 9-4 in the sixth. Chinners hit a 3-2 pitch down the left field line for his fourth homer of the season.
After three innings with zeros in the home half, the Chants went up 10-4. Hayes Orton reached on his 12th bunt single of the season and , on a hit-and-run, scored on Tripp Martin's RBI double to left. Two pitches into the top of the eighth, Charleston Southern got that run back as Chinners hit his second solo home run of the game to provide the final 10-5 score.
Offensively for Coastal, Motter was just 1-for-2, but drove in two, scored twice and walked twice while stealing a career-high four bases to give him 18 thefts on the year.
CSU starter Patrick Nolan (3-3) suffered the loss, allowing five hits and seven runs over 1.2 innings. Offensively for the Buccaneers, Chinners was 4-for-4 with his two home runs, two RBI and three runs scored.
The complete Conference Championship schedule appears below, and all games Tuesday-Friday will be video streamed live on the Big South Network presented by State Farm. Tournament games will be available daily via the $6.95 Day Pass -- which covers all games played that respective day -- or the $19.95 Championship Pass, which features all the tournament games played prior to Saturday. In addition, real-time "Live Stats" will be available on both the Big South's and VMI's website free of charge.
Tuesday, May 24 (Games 1-2) Game 1: No. 6 seed Radford vs. No. 7 seed VMI, 4:00pm ET Game 2: No. 5 seed Gardner-Webb vs. No. 8 seed High Point, 7:00pm ET
Wednesday, May 25 (Games 3-5) Game 3: No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina vs. lowest remaining seed, 11:00am ET Game 4: No. 2 seed Liberty vs. highest remaining seed, 3:00pm ET Game 5: No. 3 seed Charleston Southern vs. No. 4 seed Winthrop, 7:00pm ET
Thursday, May 26 (Games 6-8) Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 11:00am ET Game 7: Loser Game 5 vs. Winner Game 3, 3:00pm ET Game 8: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 7:00pm ET
Friday, May 27 (Games 9-11) Game 9: TBA vs. TBA, 11:00am ET Game 10: TBA vs. TBA, 3:00pm ET Game 11: TBA vs. TBA, 7:00pm ET
Saturday, May 28 (Games 12-13) Game 12: Championship Game, 1:00pm ET - TV: ESPN3.com Game 13: If necessary, Championship Game (immediately following Game 12) - TV: ESPN3.com