June 7, 2010
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Coastal Carolina's baseball team (55-8) won a thrilling 11-10 winner-take-all 10-inning match-up over College Charleston (44-19) on Monday afternoon, June 7, at BB&T Coastal Field to advance into the Super Regionals for the second time in the last three seasons. CCU will take on South Carolina with game times and dates still to be determined tonight at 11 p.m.
Junior Cody Wheeler (12-0), who started and threw a complete game shutout on Friday afternoon, came out of the bullpen to throw three innings with four strikeouts to earn the win for Coastal. The loss went to College of Charleston's Heath Hembree (5-3), who allowed only a run on a wild pitch in 2.2 innings worked.
Coastal junior Rico Noel had three hits and scored a pair of runs for the Chanticleers. Redshirt-sophomore Rich Witten had four runs-batted in for CCU. Rakar had four hits, two home runs and six runs-batted-in to lead the College of Charleston effort.
CCU scored the game-winning run in the 10th inning when Witten was able to scamper home on a wild pitch. Witten began the inning with double, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored the game-winner with two outs and Hembree on the mound.
Coastal started the scoring off with two runs in the opening inning. Noel, who was the late-game hero last night and was named MVP of the tournament, tripled to right center with one out and came in to score on redshirt-sophomore Tommy LaStella's ground out. Senior Jose Iglesias then powered out his 16th home run of the season to left center to double the CCU advantage.
College of Charleston tied the game in their half of the first on Rakar's seventh home run of the year that also drove in senior Joey Bergman, who was hit by a pitch to start the game.
The Chanticleers wrestled the lead back with two runs in the third inning. Noel started the rally with a one-out single. He stole second and moved to third on fly out before Iglesias drove him in with a single through the right side. Iglesias came in to score himself on Taylor Motter's double to left field.
The Cougars scored four runs to take the lead in bottom of the frame. Rakar doubled down the left field line to plate junior Jamie Holler and Bergman. A walk by Rob Kral and a single by Matt Leeds loaded the bases. Rakar scampered home and untied the game on Jose Rodriguez's sacrifice fly. After a strike out, senior Justin Brewer pinch hit and delivered a run-scoring single through the right side to score Kral with CofC's fourth run of the inning and sixth of the game.
The lead changed hands again in the sixth on Witten's grand slam. Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore and Motter started the rally with back-to-back walks to begin the inning. Sophomore Daniel Bowman loaded the bases with his bunt single to the shortstop. Witten followed with his fourth home run of the season to give Coastal the two-run advantage at 8-6.
The Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back home runs from Rakar and Kral.
Coastal scored twice in the eighth to untie the game on LaStella's two-out double in the left center gap to score senior Adam Rice and Woodward. Rice began it all by getting hit by pitch. He moved to second as Woodward reached on a fielding error from the Cougars and both runners scored on LaStella's double.
Right on cue in the bottom of the eighth the Cougars tied the game again. Baker Knox singled and Holler doubled to start the frame. An RBI ground out from Bergman scored the first run and a sacrifice fly by Rakar scored the second to tie the game at 10 all.
With the game in the balance and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, CCU's Motter made a defensive gem at shortstop with a charge off-balance throw to nip Bergman on a stretch from Witten at first base to force extra innings.
2010 Myrtle Beach Regional All-Tournament Team
C - Rob Kral - College of Charleston
IF - Taylor Motter - Coastal Carolina
IF - Joey Bergman - College of Charleston
IF - Scott Woodward - Coastal Carolina
IF - Matt Leeds - College of Charleston
OF - Cole Rakar - College of Charleston
OF - Jose Rodriguez - College of Charleston
OF - Rico Noel - Coastal Carolina
P - Tyler Johnson - Stony Brook
P- Cody Wheeler - Coastal Carolina
DH - Rich Witten - Coastal Carolina
MVP - Rico Noel - Coastal Carolina
Coastal Carolina Quotes Coastal Carolina Head Coach Gary Gilmore Opening Statement: I want to first congratulate College of Charleston. I don't know how many games we've played this year, we've played a lot. There is not a team in the country that we've played, that's played us as hard, as well and challenged us every single well. I commend them, it's unbelievable. How they fought us in these two games is indicative of how they fought us during the regular season.
I want to enjoy this moment with this group of kids. It is wonderful to be here.
Coastal Carolina First Baseman Rich Witten On his grand slam: He has been starting off with a lot of breaking pitches, a lot of off speed and I was looking off speed first pitch and he hung a slider and I was able to keep it elevated and hit it out to left.
Coastal Carolina Pitcher Cody Wheeler On the ball hitting off his glove in the ninth: As soon as it nicked my glove, my heart dropped. I was like oh no. I saw Taylor Motter charging it and that is an extremely difficult play and he was able to make it.
On feeling of getting the final out to advance to the Super Regionals: It was surreal. It didn't really hit me right away. I saw the guy swing and the next thing I know Jose Iglesias is on top of me and I am in the middle of the dog pile. It was pretty awesome.
College of Charleston Head Coach Monte Lee
Well, obviously I'm very disappointed in how it turned out today for our guys. I don't know if I've ever been around a group of players, who compete and play the game as hard our guys do. The disappointing part of it for me is will I ever be able to coach this group of players again, a group that plays as hard as they possibly can, buys in to what they've been coached to do and buys into each other that is unselfish as they have been in the course of this whole year. I'm awfully proud of my players and what my guys were able to do this weekend and fight the way that they did against an awfully good ball club and a tough field. Coastal Carolina, you have to give them a lot credit, their guys do a lot of things extremely well and a lot better than other programs. We fought them tooth and nail, toe to toe and it just didn't work out for us there at the end. It's going to be a hard pill to swallow, I don't know if it has set in that our season is over. I'm going to have a lot of time to reflect and I think I'll grow to appreciate this team more and more. I'm going to miss the guys that our leaving our program. This gives us something to really shoot for next fall with so many of our players coming back. It's a tough pill to swallow right now, but I'm really proud of them.
On the assistant coaches stepping up I'll say this not only am I proud of my players, our staff deserves a lot of credit. My job is to get the players going in the right direction. For our guys to come out and compete the way they did today I am extremely proud. I can't say anything they did today I would have done differently.
College of Charleston's Cole Rakar Doing well at the plate but coming up short Obviously it's nice to do well at the plate. That's the last thing on anyone's mind during an elimination game. The chance to go to Super Regional, I would have taken an 0-5 game with four K's to come out with one run on top.