Coastal Baseball Comes From Behind to Defeat Western Carolina 4-3
Junior Aaron Verrett (Jupiter, Fla./Polk C.C.) hit a one-out run-scoring double to break a 3-3 tie and lift the Coastal Carolina University baseball team (10-2) to a 4-3 victory over Western Carolina University (5-4) in game six of the Springmaid Beach Resort Rumble March 6 in Conway, S.C.
Coastal scored a single run in the first two innings to jump out on top. In the first, senior Chris Todd (Seattle, Wash./Bellevue C.C.) singled to start the inning and moved to second as junior Michael DeJesus (Manapalan, N.J./East Carolina) fly to right was dropped by Steven Strausbaugh. A groundout from junior Mike Costanzo (Springfield, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) moved both runners up and Todd scored an unearned run on a groundout from sophomore Danny Morgan (Hilton Head, S.C./Hilton Head Christian). In the second, senior Jon Foisy (Ridgecrest, Calif./Cerro Coso C.C.) walked and stole second. He came home on a single from junior Kevin Entsminger (Canton, Mich./College of the Siskiyous).
Western Carolina scored two in the top of the fourth on one hit. Chris Davis walked to open the inning and moved to second on a passed ball. Trey McDaniel walked to put runners on first and second and both runners moved up on a double steal. That proved big as Strausbaugh singled to score both runners and tie the game.
In the seventh, WCU took the lead. Jonathon Greene walked with one out and went to third on a single from Barrett Shaft. Tim Hallam then hit a chopper to first and everybody was safe, scoring Greene.
The Chants opened the eighth on a Costanzo walk. Morgan then was hit by a pitch. Sophomore Chris Raber (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall) sacrificed both runners over. Foisy then smashed a liner to left field that was mishandled by Brandon Zollman which scored Costanzo and tied the game. Zollman did get sophomore Dom Duggan (Cranberry Twp., Pa./John Carroll) out trying to advance to third. That set up Verretts double to the left center gap that broke the tie and gave the Chants a 3-0 weekend in its final in-season tournament of the season.
Sophomore Andy DeLaGarza (Ossian, Ind./Norwell) earned the victory in relief for the Chants. His record improved to 2-0. DeLaGarza struck out two and gave up two hits in two innings. Sophomore Kevin Marrie (Clarksville, Md./River Hill) pitched the first six innings, striking out six and giving up two earned runs. Costanzo came into the ninth and got three ground ball outs to earn his first save of the season.
The loss fell to Derrick Hawk, who gave up the two runs in the eighth. The Catamounts started Bryan Tupper, as he went 4.2 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
Verrett had two of Coastals six hits on the day. Hallam, Strausbaugh and Greene had two hits apiece for WCU.
Earlier in the day, Kent State defeated James Madison 11-6.
Coastal travels to Charleston, S.C., to face The Citadel Wednesday, March 9, at 5 p.m.