Baseball Defeats Liberty 13-7 in Series Opener

Baseball Defeats Liberty 13-7 in Series Opener

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CONWAY, S.C. – The 22nd-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (34-13, 13-5 Big South) opened the key Big South series against Liberty (29-15, 16-5 Big South) with a come-from-behind 13-7 win over the Flames May 1 in Conway, S.C. The game was televised on ESPNU.   Liberty jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.  Matt Williams led off the game with a single and moved to second on a Curren Redal single. Doug Bream then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but it ended up scoring a run as sophomore Cody Wheeler’s throw was wild to third base. Errol Hollinger then made it 2-0 with an infield single. Coastal Carolina came back in the bottom of the inning, as sophomore Rico Noel (Lawton, Okla./Lawton) scored on a Hollinger passed ball. He singled to start the inning, went to second on a Steven Evans balk and advanced to third on a groundout.   In the third, Trey Wimmer’s two-out single scored Cody Brown to give Liberty a 3-1 lead. The Flames then tacked on three runs in the fourth. Redal singled with one out. With two away, Hollinger reached on a bunt single.  Brown would bring in both runners ona double in the right field gap. Brown then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by junior Jose Iglesias (Miami, Fla./St. John’s).    Coastal Carolina started to chip into Liberty’s lead in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman Daniel Bowman (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) reached on an error to start the inning.  Redshirt junior Chance Gilmore (Surfside Beach, S.C./Virginia) then walked. Iglesias brought in Bowman with a single to cut the lead to 6-2.   The Chanticleers scored three times in the fifth as freshman Taylor Motter (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) doubled in Anderson and Gilmore brought in two runs with a single to center. Liberty answered with a run in the sixth as Tyler Bream walked with the bases loaded.    Coastal Carolina would take its first lead of the game in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore Scott Woodward (Markle, Ind./Norwell) walked to lead off the inning. It was Woodward’s first start since April 1. Woodward stole second and scored on a Noel double.  Junior Adam Rice (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Elgin C.C.) reached on a bunt single. With runners on first and third, Noel scored on a wild pitch. Rice came home on a single from Bowman, making it 8-7 Chanticleers.   Coastal Carolina would add five runs in its final two turns at the plate. In the seventh, a double play groundout scored Gilmore. Then in the eighth, the Chanticleers added insurance. Rice double and would trot home on senior David Anderson’s (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) 17th home run of the season. With that home run, Anderson passed Mike Costanzo into second place on Coastal Carolina’s career home run list. He now has 46 and is two away from tying Tom Romano for the record. Bortnick and Bowman then had back-to-back singles. Iglesias would bring in Bortnick on a sacrifice fly that was a dropped fly by Doug Bream. Bowman then scored on a single from freshman Steve Davis (Steubenville, Ohio/Steubenville).   Four Chanticleers had two hits apiece, while Anderson, Gilmore and Iglesias drove in two runs. For Liberty, Hollinger was 3-for-4, while Brown drove in a pair of runs. There also were a combined 10 errors in the game.   Sophomore Matt Rein (Houston, Texas/Langham Creek) earned his fourth win of the season, pitching two innings of relief and allowing two hits and no runs. Wheeler went the first 5.1 innings. He allowed eight hits, four earned runs while striking out seven.    The loss went to Carter Browning, who allowed three runs in a third of an inning. Evans allowed just one earned run in 4.2 innings with five strikeouts.   The two teams continue the series Saturday, May 3 at 6 p.m., in Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.



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