Baseball Falls to Hawai'i 4-3
Baseball Falls to Hawai'i 4-3
HONOLULU, Hawai’i – The 15th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (19-7) fell to Hawai’i (16-9) 4-3 in the final game of a four-game series March 28 in Honolulu, O’ahu. Coastal Carolina dropped three out of four games in the series against the Rainbows and now has lost six of its last 10 games.
Coastal Carolina struck first in the first with three straight base hits. Sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) opened the game with a single to left, the fourth time he has done that in the series. Woodward was caught stealing, but classmate Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) then singled, stole second and third and scored on a run-scoring single from senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor).
Hawai’i answered with three runs in the first off Coastal Carolina starter Austin Fleet (Edmond, Okla./Santa Fe). Fleet walked Greg Garcia to lead off the inning. Two groundouts put Garcia at third base with two outs, and he would score on a double just inside the third base line by Kevin Macdonald. Kolten Wong then hit the first home run of the series, a two-run shot to right center field, giving the Rainbows the 3-1 lead.
Senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) hit his eighth home run of the season in the top of the fourth, a shot to right field. It also was his 38th home run of his career, tying him with Kirt Manwaring for third place on the Chants all-time home run list.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Rainbows had a runner on second and two out when Ryan Morford singled to center. Noel retrieved the ball, gunned it to Anderson who threw to junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) to get Landon Hernandez out at the plate and keep it at 3-2.
Hawai’i plated a run in the sixth. Fleet walked Vinnie Catricala and Macdonald to open the inning. Fleet picked off Catricala at first for the first out. Wong then hit into a fielder’s choice off redshirt freshman Keith Hessler (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) for the second out. The Rainbows would get singes from Hernandez and Jeffrey Van Doornum, the latter scoring Wong and giving Hawai’i a 4-2 lead.
Coastal Carolina tried to rally in the top of the ninth as Bortnick led off the inning with an opposite field home run, cutting the lead to 4-3. Anderson then had an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.). Hawai’i closer Josh Slaats would end the game with strikeouts of freshman Tommy Winegardner (St. Leonard, Md./Riverdale Baptist) and redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) to end the game.
Anderson, Bortnick and Winegardner had two hits apiece for the Chanticleers. Bortnick also drove in a pair of runs. For Hawai’i, Catricala, Hernandez and Van Doornum had two hits apiece, while Wong drove in a pair of runs.
Fleet was tagged with the loss, giving up four runs and six hits in 5.1 innings. Connor Little earned the win, striking out three and giving up six hits and two runs in 6.2 innings. Slatts earned his third save by pitching the final 2.1 innings with three strikeouts and a run.
Coastal Carolina will return home to host UNC Wilmington Tuesday, March 31 at 6 p.m., at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.