Baseball Defeats Virginia Tech in Thrilling Ninth Inning 6-5
Chanticleers Remain Perfect on the Season
CONWAY, S.C.- The Coastal Carolina baseball team came back from behind in the ninth inning to defeat Virginia Tech 6-5 in the final game of the IMIChotels.com INN-vitational. Senior Travis Risser (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra (James Madison)) picked up his first win of the season on the mound.
The Chanticleers started off the scoring in the first inning after Hokie pitcher David Cross walked David Sappelt (Saxapahaw, N.C./Graham) and Dom Duggan (Cranberry Township, Pa./John Carroll (Ohio)). Both then advanced on a wild pitch before David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) grounded out to the short-stop which scored Sappelt.
The Hokies responded quickly in the second inning when a fielders choice by Matt Hacker brought home Jose Cueto to tie the score at 1 apiece. The Chanticleer defense then threw Hacker out as he attempted to steal second base to get the final out of the inning. Coastal started off the third inning with Adam Vrable (Bay City, Mich./Grand Rapids C.C.) getting his first single of the tournament. Vrable then stole second and then scored when Sappelt slapped a single up the middle.
The Chants added another run in the fourth when Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) had a solo homerun over the left field fence.
The two teams then remained scoreless until the eighth inning despite several efforts by each side. Virginia Tech left seven runners on base while Coastal stranded 12. Anderson relieved starter John Mariotti (Toronto, Ontario/Chaminade College (Gulf Coast C.C.)) in the seventh, who threw for six innings, giving up just four hits and one run while striking out five. The Chanticleers scored what they thought to be an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning after Derek Martin (Barnwell, S.C./Barnwell) walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. Vrable and Sappelt both picked up another single which scored Martin.
Risser came in for Anderson in the ninth inning. For the Hokies, Sean OBrien singled to center field to get a four-run rally going in the inning. Risser then hit Jose Cueto and allowed Sean Bumbry on base off an error to load the bases. Matt Hacker picked up an RBI after he reached on a fielders choice, scoring OBrien. Risser then threw a wild pitch, giving up another run to Cueto and advancing Hacker to second. Matt Foley then had a single straight down the middle which scored Hacker. Risser then walked Luke Padgett and gave up a single through the left side to Nate Parks to score Foley. The Chanticleer defense then got two quick outs to end the inning.
Rhett Ballard got a quick first out on the mound for the Hokies in the bottom of the ninth before walking the next two batters, Anderson and Baldridge. Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Socastee (Virginia)) came in to pinch run for Baldridge, and Ballard then hit Matt Rademacher (Bay City, Mich./Central (Michigan) to load the bases. Martin then hit a hard ball back to Ballard which bounced off of his ankle and into left field, scoring two runs to win the game for the Chanticleers.
Coastal was led by Sappelt who went 4-for-4 on the night with two RBIs while Baldridge and Vrable each went 2-for-4. The Hokies were led by Warren Schaeffer who went 2-for-5.
The Chanticleers are back in action next Friday, February 23 as they take on TCU at the Baseball at the Beach over at Coastal Federal Field. The first pitch is set for 12:30 p.m.