May 23, 2012
HIGH POINT, N.C. - Daniel Bowman reached two Big South milestones while scoring the game-winning run for a team-best 10th time this season as top seed Coastal Carolina rallied to defeat fifth seed Radford, 5-3, Wednesday in Game 7 of the 2012 Big South Baseball Championship presented by Brookwood Farms BBQ and Triangle Rent A Car at Williard Stadium on the campus of High Point University.
The Chanticleers, which will have Thursday off, improve to 39-17 and advance to Game 12 on Friday against a to-be-determined opponent. Coastal will play the second game of the day Friday with an approximate start time of 1:45 pm.
In the first inning, Bowman became the first player in the Big South history to record 200 RBI, 200 runs scored and 300 hits. (Bowman currently has 204 career RBI, 210 career runs score and 301 career hits. Bowman is two hits shy of the CCU career record and nine hits shy of the Big South all-time mark.) Also, by going 2-for-4, he now has 948 career at bats to become the Big South's all-time leader.
Coastal Carolina relief pitcher Ryan Connolly (4-2) was also key in the win. Entering the game after Radford had taken a 3-2 lead, Connolly had two runners on and no outs in the fourth. He would get a sacrifice bunt out, an out at home plate on a fielder's choice and a caught stealing to get out of the inning. Overall, the junior worked the final six innings, allowing no runs and no walk. He also scattered four hits and struck out four.
Coastal got on the scoreboard first. Jacob May singled and moved to third on Bowman's single to right field. Radford pitcher Mark Peterson attempted a pickoff, but the throw to third was errant, allowing May to score.
In the second inning, Tripp Martin, who hit a monster home run at last year's Big South Championship, matched the feat with a home run to left-center field, marking his third round tripper of the season and giving Coastal a 2-0 lead.
After cruising through the first three innings, CCU starter Javier Reynoso ran into trouble in the fourth. Radford loaded the bases as Brett Mollenhauer drew a leadoff walk before Jeff Kemp and Matt Mack singled. After a passed ball allowed Mollenhauer to score, Matt Hillsinger walked to re-load the bases. Josh Gardner followed with a two-run single to end Reynoso's day. Connolly came out of the bullpen and limited the damage, getting the three outs to keep the score 3-2.
Coastal regained the lead in the fifth. May had a leadoff single and Bowman was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and third. Witten, who was hit by a pitch his first two at bats, hit an 0-2 pitch to left field to plate May, tying the game at 3-3. Bowman moved to third on a fly out and scored when Tucker Frawley reached on an RBI fielder's choice.
Connolly worked out of a bases loaded jam in the seventh. After getting an out, pinch hitter Patrick Marshall reached on an error. With two out, Mollenhauer singled and Kemp was hit by a pitch. Connolly responded by striking out Mack to keep the score 4-3.
Bowman started the seventh with a hustle double, giving him 53 for his career to tie Taylor Motter for fourth on the CCU all-time list. Witten moved Bowman to third on a ground out and Alex Buccilli followed with an RBI single to right field to provide the 5-3 final.