Junior Ricky Shefka (Kinston, N.C./Old Dominion) pitched a complete-game five-hitter as the 25th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (35-11, 14-2 Big South) defeated Charleston Southern University (23-22, 8-11 Big South) 11-2 May 6 at Charles Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.
Shefka pitched his first complete game of the season, striking out nine and allowing two runs and two walks. It was the second nine-inning complete game of the season for Coastal and it improved Shefkas record to 9-2 on the year.
Charleston Southern scored first in the first inning, with all the damage happening with two outs. Brian Sole singled and went to second on a perfect bunt from Brad Woods. Shefka hit Jordan Haar to load the bases and Sole scored when Shefka hit Graham Maiden.
Coastal came back in the bottom of the first with three runs. Senior Chris Todd (Seattle, Wash./Bellevue C.C.) singled to open the first and extended his on-base streak to 48 games. Todd moved to second on a single from sophomore Dom Duggan (Cranberry Twp., Pa./John Carroll). Junior Mike Costanzo (Springfield, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) walked to load the bases, his 53rd walk of the season, tying Coastals single-season record. Junior Michael DeJesus (Manapalan, N.J./East Carolina) drove in Todd on a sacrifice fly to tie the game. A passed ball by Keith Stewart brought in Duggan and a groundout from senior Jon Foisy (Ridgecrest, Calif./Cerro Coso C.C.) brought in Costanzo.
Coastal added a run in the second as junior Aaron Verrett (Jupiter, Fla./Polk C.C.) doubled and classmate Mike Fuentes (Miami, Fla./North Florida C.C.) singled to open the inning. Todd brought in Verrett on a groundout, making it 4-1 Coastal.
In the fourth, Charleston Southern scored on a failed pickoff attempt. Coastal seemed to have Drew Grosse hung up between first and second. With Billy Dalton on third, DeJesus looked to throw him out, but his throw was wild and Dalton came home. That would be all the scoring for the Buccaneers, as Shefka would retire 15 of the last 16 CSU batters.
Coastal scored a run in the sixth on an RBI single from Todd that scored Verrett. The Chants then exploded for six in the seventh. Costanzo extended his hitting streak to 15 games and singled to open the frame. DeJesus reached on an error from Maiden. With runners on first and third, DeJesus stole second and a Stewart throwing error scored Costanzo. Foisy brought home DeJesus on a triple to right center. Foisy was brought home by sophomore Chris Rabers (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall) single. With the bases loaded, junior Kevin Entsminger (Canton, Mich./College of the Siskiyous) brought in Raber on a fielders choice. Todd drove in his third run on a sacrifice fly and the Chants ended the scoring with an unearned run as Duggan singled and Entsminger scored on a misplay by Sole.
The loss went to Charleston Southerns Brad Bissel, who gave up five earned runs in six innings. He also struck out six and walked three.
Five Chants had two or more hits, led by Verretts 3-for-4 performance. Todd drove in three and Foisy brought in two runs. Todd also extended his hitting streak to 14 game. For Charleston Southern, Sole was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Coastal and Charleston Southern will play the second game of the series Saturday, May 7, at 2 p.m.