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Baseball Falls in 5-3 Heartbreaker to Clemson

Baseball Falls in 5-3 Heartbreaker to Clemson

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CLEMSON, S.C. – The 19th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (30-10) lost a 5-3 heartbreaker to 20th-ranked Clemson (27-14) after Jeff Schaus hit a two-out grand slam to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning.    Coastal Carolina led 3-1 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. Junior Nick McCully (Lakeland, Fla./Santa Fe Catholic) retired Wilson Boyd for the first out, but walked Brad Miller and gave up a single to Matt Sanders. Pinch hitter Chris Epps walked to load the bases. McCully struck out Addison Johnson, but Schaus hit his first pitch over the wall in right field for the walk-off grand slam.   Coastal Carolina had two chances to score in the first five innings. Junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s) led off the third with a single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from freshman Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens). Sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) singled up the middle with two outs, but Clemson’s Addison Johnson threw out Iglesias trying to score. Then in the fifth, redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) led off the inning with a triple. With one out, Motter tried to squeeze him home, but the bunt went back to Clemson pitcher Graham Stoneburner, who threw Gilmore out at home.   Clemson scored an unearned run in the third. With two out, Jeff Schaus reached on a Motter throwing error. He stole second and went to third as Mike Freeman reached on an error from senior Tyler Bortnick (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor). Schaus scored on a single from Ben Paulsen, making it 1-0 Tigers.   The Chanticleers tied the game in the top of the sixth. With one out, junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) reached on an infield single. He went to second on a wild pitch. Bortnick then singled to left and Rice would score on a fielding error by left fielder Wilson Boyd.   The Chanticleers would take a 3-1 lead in the eighth. With two outs, Rice singled to right field. He would score on Bortnick’s ninth home run of the season. In the bottom of the eighth, Freeman led off the inning with a single, but was doubled up at first as Paulsen hit a line shot that senior David Anderson (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) snared.   McCully had his first blown save of the season, falling to 3-1 on the year. Lefties Keith Hessler (Silver Spring, Md./Springbrook) and Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) both have impressive performances on the mound. Hessler gave up just three hits and did not give up an earned run in 5.1 innings. Rein pitched 2.2 innings, allowing just two hits with one strikeout. The win went to Clinton McKinney in relief. He struck out the side in the ninth.  Stoneburner struck out five in six innings of work for the Tigers.   Rice and Bortnick had two hits apiece for the Chants, while Paulsen was 3-for-4 for the Tigers.    The Chanticleers return to Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field Wednesday, April 22, hosting the College of Charleston. The game will start at 6 p.m.