Baseball Completes Sweep of Gardner-Webb with a 10-4 Victory
CONWAY, S.C. – The 19th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (24-7, 6-2 Big South) completed a three-game sweep of Gardner-Webb (14-13, 4-5 Big South) with a 10-4 victory April 5 in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina has now won five games in a row and completed its second Big South sweep of the season.
For the third game in a row, Coastal Carolina scored in the first inning. Senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and classmate David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) both walked with two outs. Bortnick would score on a single by junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s). Coastal Carolina then scored two runs in the second. Freshman Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) doubled down the left field line with one out. He stole third and scored on a groundout from freshman Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville). Noel then walked, went to third on a failed pickoff attempt from Devin Campbell and scored on a double by junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.).
Rice continued his hot weekend in the fourth, as he doubled to score Davis, who reached on an error to start the inning. Rice stole third and scored on a Bortnick sacrifice fly.
Freshman Anthony Meo (Cranston, R.I./Cranston West) retired the first 12 Bulldogs faced, but ran into a little trouble in the fifth. Justin Loyd led off the inning with a single. He was picked off first base, but Kurt Fulginiti singled and went to second on a wild pitch. Meo walked Ty Boyles and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Matt Rizzuto scored Fulginiti on a groundout and Meo got out of the inning as Bubbie Spake grounded out to short.
Coastal Carolina plated four runs in the sixth. Motter singled to open the frame. He went to second on a bunt single by Davis. Noel then tried to sacrifice both runners but was safe on a throwing error by Loyd. Rice brought in a run with a sacrifice fly, and then Bortnick scored Davis with a bunt single. Noel would score as he stole third and scored on a throwing error by Ty Boyles. Bortnick then scored on a wild pitch to make it 9-1 Coastal Carolina.
The Chants added insurance in the seventh as freshman Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) doubled to open the frame and classmate Tommy Winegardner (St. Leonard, Md./Riverdale Baptist) singled to center field to make it 10-1.
Rizzuto, Jake Watts and Aaron Miller all walked with one out in the Gardner-Webb eighth. Adam McFarland brought in two runs with a double to right center field. Jon Ahearn then cut the deficit to 10-4 with a run-scoring groundout, ending the scoring for the day.
Meo improved to 4-0 on the season, allowing just one run and two hits in seven innings of work. Meo also struck out four Bulldogs. Campbell was tagged with the loss, allowing five earned runs and eight hits in 5.1 innings.
Motter had three hits to lead the Chants. Rice drove in three runs, while Bowman added two hits. For Gardner-Webb, McFarland drove in two runs.
Coastal Carolina travels to Elon, N.C., to face Elon Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 p.m. This is an added game on the schedule after the rainouts in February. Gardner-Webb is at Virginia Tech the same night at 5:30 p.m.