ASHEVILLE, NC Tyler Hasbrouck drove in three runs, while four Coastal Carolina pitchers limited UNC Asheville to four hits as the Chanticleers clinched second place in the Big South Conference with a 7-3 league win Sunday afternoon.
The loss ended a three-game winning streak for UNCA (26-26, 12-9 BSC)
and made the Bulldogs the fourth seed in the upcoming Big South Conference tournament. The Chanticleers (41-15, 12-7 BSC) will be the second seed and take on fifth-seeded Charleston Southern at either 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. The times for the tournament will be announced on Monday.
Coastal's pitching dominated the game. Starter Justin Sturge (9-3) went 5.1 innings, allowing two hits and one run. He struck out two and walked three. Relievers' Jake Hurry, Steve Soja and Josh Fish allowed just two hits over the last 3.2 innings. UNCA picked up two unearned runs in the eighth inning on a two-run single from Jake McConiga.
Jeff Baker put the Chanticleers in front in the second on a sacrifice fly, 1-0. Hasbrouck had an RBI-single in the third to put Coastal in front, 2-0 before Baker had a RBI-single in the fourth for a 3-0 Chanticleer lead.
Hasbrouck hit a two-run homer in the fifth to pad the visitors' lead to 5-0. UNCA scratched across a run in the bottom of the sixth as Robert Rudder led off with a double and scored on two wild pitches from Sturge.
Coastal Carolina added some insurance with two runs in the seventh on an RBI-groundout from Adam Pernasilici and an RBI-single from Mike Costanzo. Costanzo finished the game with three hits. Brett Grandstrand, Brandon Powell and Hasbrouck all had two hits for CCU.
"We simply ran into some great pitching today," commented UNC Asheville coach Matt Myers. "Justin Sturge is as good a pitcher as we've faced all year and he was tough today. And their bullpen did a super job shutting us down.