Baseball Clinches Outright Big South Title with 6-4 Win over Charleston Southern
CONWAY, S.C. – The 22nd-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (41-13, 20-5 Big South) clinched the outright Big South regular-season title and the number-one seed in the upcoming Big South Tournament with a 6-4 win over Charleston Southern (16-35, 10-14 Big South) May 15 in Conway, S.C. Senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) had a three-run home run and is now tied with Tom Romano for the school’s career home run record.
For the second straight night, Charleston Southern scored a run in the first. Patrick Dolan doubled with one out and would score on a Tyler Thornburg double. Coastal Carolina answered with a run in the first as sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) singled, stole second and third and scored on a single from junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.).
Charleston Southern came back with three runs in the second. Kory Morian led off the inning with a single. He was sacrificed to second by Tom Burkett. Blake Hunt would walk and both runners would score on a double from Mark Perry. Perry went to third on a throwing error from freshman Taylor Motter (North Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) and scored on a sacrifice fly from Patrick Dolan.
Wheeler would settle down after that, retiring 15 of the next 16 batters. Meanwhile, the Chanticleers would tie the game in the second as Anderson belted his 48th career home run to left center field. It scored Noel and Rice, who walked with two outs. The Chants scored the game winner in the third as Motter singled, went to third on a double from Iglesias and scored on a groundout from freshman Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville).
The Chanticleers added a run in the sixth as sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) walked, stole second and scored on a Rice single.
Wheeler struck out nine in seven innings, upping his season total to 91. He improved to 10-0 on the year, allowing five hits and three earned runs. Senior Bobby Gagg (Hamburg, N.J./Wallkill) pitched the final two innings, striking out a batter and inducing the game-ending double play. He picked up his third save of the season.
The loss fell to Keith Hustedt in relief. He allowed six hits and two earned runs in four innings pitched. Anthony Markham started the game, giving up four hits and four runs in two innings.
Senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) led Coastal Carolina with three hits, while Rice and Motter had two hits apiece. Anderson drove in three runs, while Noel had a career high four stolen bases. For Charleston Southern, Perry was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Coastal Carolina earns the regular-season title for the 12th time in school history. This also is the third straight regular-season crown for the Chanticleers.
Coastal Carolina will wrap up the regular season Saturday, May 16 against Charleston Southern. Game time is at 2 p.m., at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. It will be Senior Day at the park, as the Chanticleers will honor its six seniors before the game.