The Coastal Carolina University baseball team (27-9, 8-2 Big South) had 14 hits and junior Mike Costanzo (Springfield, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) went 3-for-3 with four runs-batted-in as the Chanticleers defeated Birmingham-Southern College (21-13, 8-2 Big South) 9-1 April 15 in Birmingham, Ala.
Coastal jumped out with a run in the first. Sophomore Dom Duggan (Cranberry Twp., Pa./John Carroll) laced a one-out double down the left field line. He scored as junior Mike Costanzo (Springfield, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) singled through the right side.
The Chanticleers exploded for four runs in the second. Freshman Tommy Baldridge (Fort Mill, S.C./Fort Mill) opened the inning with a single. He moved to second as senior Jon Foisy (Ridgecrest, Calif./Cerro Coso C.C.) was hit by a Brandon Hynick pitch. Baldridge came around from second on a single by senior Chris Todd (Seattle, Wash./Bellevue C.C.). Costanzo then dealt the big blow, driving a Hynick pitch over the left field wall for his fifth home run of the season.
In the sixth, Birmingham-Southerns Adam Tucker hit his Big South leading 12th home run of the season off of junior Ricky Shefka (Kinston, N.C./Old Dominion) to make the score 5-1 Coastal.
The Chanticleers got out of a jam in the eighth. With one out, Shefka walked Matt Barber and Jonathon Sanford. Costanzo came into the game and struck out Adam Tucker and forcing Blake Burton into a groundout, ending the threat.
Coastal added insurance in the ninth with four runs. Duggan and Costanzo had back-to-back singles to lead off the frame. Junior Michael DeJesus (Manapalan, N.J./East Carolina) moved the runners over to second and third. After junior DJ Burns (Gilbert, Ariz./Chandler Gilbert J.C.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Junior Aaron Verrett (Jupiter, Fla./Polk C.C.) then laid down a perfect bunt single to score Duggan. Junior Kevin Entsminger (Canton, Mich./College of the Siskiyous) drove in two on a double down the left field line and junior Mike Fuentes (Miami, Fla./North Florida C.C.) brought in Verrett on a sacrifice fly.
Shefka had another brilliant outing to move to 7-1 on the year. He went 7.1 innings, striking out five and giving up six hits and only one earned run. The loss went to Hynick, who gave up five runs and 10 hits to fall to 5-3 on the year.
The top three of Coastals lineup had eight hits and five RBI. Duggan was 3-of-5 with two runs scored and Todd went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Sophomore Chris Raber (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall) and Baldridge had two hits apiece, while Entsminger drove in a pair.
The two teams will continue the series Saturday, April 16, at 3 p.m. EDT. The game can be heard on THE TEAM 93.9 FM in Myrtle Beach.