Baseball Uses Late-Inning Heroics to Defeat Radford 6-1
RADFORD, Va. The Coastal Carolina University baseball team (23-11, 6-5 Big South) broke through in the scoring column in the eighth inning, scoring six runs in the final two frames to defeat Radford University (15-16, 7-4 Big South) 6-1 April 17, in Radford, Va. Junior Jake Hurry (East Moline, Ill./Alleman) had Coastals second straight spectatular pitching performance, allowing no earned runs and striking out a career high 12 Highlanders.
Both teams had chances to get on the board early, but great defense and base running mistakes kept the game scoreless. Coastal had first and third and one out in the first, but sophomore Mike Costanzo (Springfield, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) lined out to third and freshman Chris Raber (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall) grounded out to end the inning. Radford had a threat in the fifth, but Matt Mantione was picked off second to end it. Coastal had runners in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh inning, but grounded into double plays to keep the game scoreless.
Coastal finally broke through in the top of the eighth. Sophomore Mike Costanzo (Springfield, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) walked with one out and went to third on a single from freshman Chris Raber (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall). Freshman Derek Martin (Barnwell, S.C./Barnwell) walked to load the bases and then with two outs, junior Jon Foisy (Ridgecrest, Calif./Cerro Coso C.C.)then walked on four straight pitches, scoring Costanzo. Senior Chad Oxendine (Rowland, N.C./Avalon Academy) then gave the Chants a 3-0 lead with a single just past the left side of the infield.
Radford scored for the first time in 16 innings against Coastal in the eighth. Kellen Wohlford opened with a single and came home when Stuart Ritchie doubled and Wohlford scored on an error from junior Brett Grandstrand (Newcastle, Wash./Liberty). But junior Byron Binda (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) struck out Mark Fleisher and Shaun House to end the Highlander threat.
Grandstrand extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a solo shot to left field off reliever Bret Lieberman. Junior Brett Gordon (Sonora, Calif./Merced J.C.) then hit a double to right field to drive in Costanzo. Raber then came home when Alan Ashworth failed to catch the cutoff throw. Binda struck out three in the ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Hurry went 7.1 innings, allowing only an unearned run His career high in strikeouts was March 11, 2003, in a 9-3 win over George Mason.
Every Coastal starter had at least one hit. Gordon was 2-for-4 with two doubles while Oxendine had two hits and drove in two.
Coastal looks for the series sweep Sunday, April 18, at 1 p.m.