Baseball Advances to Championship Game of Big South Championships with 7-0 Win over Liberty

Baseball Advances to Championship Game of Big South Championships with 7-0 Win over Liberty

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Coastal Carolina’s Austin Fleet threw seven shutout innings and Jose Iglesias had four RBI to lead No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina past No. 3 Liberty, 7-0, in Game 9 of the 2009 Royal Purple Big South Conference Baseball Championship, May 22 at historic McCormick Field in Asheville, N.C.  With the victory, Coastal Carolina improves to 45-14 and clinches a berth in Saturday’s Championship game.  Liberty falls to 33-20 and will play Winthrop Saturday at 1:00pm, with the winner advancing to the title contest against the Chanticleers approximately 45 minutes afterward.

Fleet was dominate in his performance against the Flames, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out five batters.  He improved to 7-2 on the year in clinching Coastal Carolina’s third consecutive Championship game appearance and 10th in the last 12 years.  It was also the Chanticleers’ first shutout in the tournament since blanking Liberty 10-0 in 2003 – which was the last time the Flames were shutout in the Big South postseason tournament.

Coastal Carolina scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the second when David Anderson was hit-by-pitch and advanced to second on Tyler Bortnick’s single to left.  Daniel Bowman moved up both runners on a sacrifice bunt, and Iglesias brought home Anderson with a sacrifice fly to give the Chanticleers a 1-0 lead.

The Chanticleers made it 3-0 in the third inning.  Taylor Motter doubled to left and moved to third on Rico Noel’s sacrifice.  Adam Rice scored Motter with a single to left, and later crossed the plate on Bortnick’s single to right.  Coastal Carolina moved ahead 4-0 in the fifth frame when Rice doubled and scored on Anderson’s single to center.  It was Anderson’s 77th RBI of the season, which is tied for sixth-most in a single-season in Big South history.

Iglesias put the game out of reach with an opposite field three-run home run in the seventh inning that pushed the Chanticleers ahead, 7-0.  It was his 10th home run of the year.  Keith Hessler and Kent Altman each recorded 1-2-3 innings to close out the ballgame.

Of Liberty’s four hits, P.J. Jimenez had a double and Errol Hollinger tripled off the wall in right in the losing effort.  Flames starter Tyler Light suffered the loss, dropping to 1-4.  He allowed six hits and four runs in four innings, with two walks and four strikeouts.

Coastal Carolina Head Coach Gary Gilmore
“What a gamer (Fleet).  That was one of the best performances in Austin Fleet’s career.  He put his team on his back.  He reached back a couple of times on his fastball and a couple of other times he had to make plus pitches on his breaking ball.  I honestly believe a couple of his performances in the bullpen helped rejuvenate him.  He was very good.”

Liberty Head Coach Jim Toman
“Tonight was just not our night.  Give their pitcher and team credit, they got the job done.  We need to rebound tomorrow.  Don’t count us out quickly.”



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