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Baseball Wins 4-3 11-Inning Thriller over UNC Wilmington

Baseball Wins 4-3 11-Inning Thriller over UNC Wilmington

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CONWAY, S.C. – Junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) hit a one-out single that scored classmate Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) in the bottom of the 11th inning to lift the 19th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (20-7) to a 4-3 win over 30th-ranked UNC Wilmington (17-6) March 31 in Conway, S.C.   In the bottom of the 11th, Rice hit a one-out double to left field. After UNC Wilmington pitcher Tyler McSwain intentionally walked freshman Tommy Winegardner (St. Leonard, Md./Riverdale Baptist), the Seahawks brought in Stephen Harrold, who gave up the game-winning hit to Iglesias that scored Rice.   Both teams had chances to break the deadlock earlier in the game. UNC Wilmington had two runners on in both the ninth and 11th innings. In the ninth, junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) struck out Andrew Cain to open the frame, but then walked Bobby Leeper and Mike Rooney.  McCully got out of the jam by striking out Ben Thielsen and pinch hitter Rhett Miller. Then in the 11th, Cain and Leeper walked with one out. McCully struck out Rooney again, but Thielsen singled to left. UNCW waived Cain in to score, but Rice threw him out at the plate to keep it tied at 3-3.   Coastal Carolina’s best chance to score in the late innings happened in the 10th. Sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) was hit by a McSwain pitch with one out. Woodward stole second and McSwain walked sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) to put two runners on with one out. Senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) struck out looking, and then Woodward was thrown out at third trying to advance on a wild pitch.   The Chanticleers struck first in the first. Woodward opened the contest with a single for the fifth consecutive game. He stole second and scored on a double by Bortnick. The Seahawks scored all of their runs in one inning, the fourth. Redshirt freshman Keith Hessler (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) retired the first two batters, but Cain reached on an infield single. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Leeper double. UNCW took the lead on a single from Rooney, then added the third run on a single to center field by Thielsen.    The Chants would cut the UNCW advantage to one in the sixth. Woodward opened the inning with s single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Noel, was save at third on a fielder’s choice by the shortstop and scored on a sacrifice fly from redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia).    Coastal Carolina tied things up at three in the eighth. Noel walked, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Bortnick single. It looked as if Coastal Carolina would take the lead, but freshman Taylor Motter’s (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) hit a grounder to the third-base side at shortstop that the Seahawks converted for a double play.   McCully earned his second win of the season, pitching the final 3.2 innings. He struck out six, allowed just one hit and walked four. Hessler started the game, giving up six hits and three runs in four innings pitched. He struck out three. Junior Caleb Cuevas (Fletcher, N.C./Louisburg J.C.) struck out two in three innings of relief.   McSwain took the loss, allowing a hit and a run while striking out five in 2.1 innings of relief. Seth Frankoff started for the Seahawks, giving up three hits and a run in three innings. Frankoff struck out four Chants. Jessie Haney also had three strikeouts in 2.1 innings of relief.   Iglesias, Bortnick and Rice had two hits apiece for the Chants. Bortnick also drove in two runs. For UNCW, Thielsen went 3-for-5 with an RBI.   Coastal Carolina and UNC Wilmington wrap up the two-game series Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m., in Wilmington, N.C.