No. 8 Chanticleers thwart comeback attempt in 29-13 win over CSU March 20, 2010
By CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Tom Burkett was a 3-for-4 from the plate and sent his third home run of the season over the left field wall, but No. 8 Coastal Carolina University proved too much for the Charleston Southern baseball team in a 29-13 victory Saturday afternoon at CSU Ballpark.
Coastal Carolina put up season highs in runs and hits as the nationally-ranked Chanticleers outhit CSU 23-13. The Buccaneers were done in by five errors to just two from CCU.
CCU pulled ahead quickly with three first-inning runs. Rico Noel was hit on the first pitch of the game from CSU starting pitcher Charlie McCready, and Steve Davis walked on four pitches to put runners on first and second.
McCready retired the next two batters, but Tommy La Stella doubled to right center and a fielding error on the play from Burkett allowed both Noel and Davis to score. Daniel Bowman popped up to right field but nobody was able to track it down and La Stella scored on the play. McCready finally got out of the inning when he got Chance Gilmore to pop up to shortstop Walt Quattlebaum.
Noel drove home Scott Woodward with a double in the top of the second, and Noel made the score 5-0 on a mental error from CSU catcher Drew Woodall. Jose Iglesias grounded out to third base to record the second out of the inning, but Noel saw nobody covering home plate and wisely took advantage of the mistake and scored.
Coastal Carolina added three insurance runs in the third after Stew Brase came on in relief for McCready and walked all three batters faced. He was replaced by Tyler Vick, who was unable to stop the runners from scoring. Rice, La Stella and Gilmore were all walked, and they all scored in the inning to give the visiting Chanticleers an 8-0 lead.
The Buccaneers never got rattled despite finding themselves in the huge hole early. They plated seven runs in the next two innings to nearly tie the game.
Burkett and Jon Matthews were both hit by pitches to get the third inning started for the home team. Nick Chinners drove home Burkett with a single up the middle to break up the shutout. Tyler Thornburg drove home Matthews via a fielder’s choice and Chinners scored on a throwing error on the same play.
Burkett and Matt Still both blasted two-run homers in the fourth and Charleston Southern pulled back to within one.
Coastal Carolina would not allow CSU to tie the game, however, as the Chanticleers plated four in the fifth frame. Bowman, Woodward, Gilmore and Noel all scored to give CCU the 12-7 lead.
Charleston Southern again mounted a comeback with three in the bottom of the fifth, but the Chanticleers answered with three of their own in the sixth.
Quattlebaum started off the home half of the fifth with a single. Patrick Dolan also singled but was later recorded out on a fielder’s choice from Bentley Christmas. Burkett doubled on the next at bat to drive home both Quattlebaum and Christmas. Burkett scored on a Matthews single, and the Bucs found themselves down just 12-10 entering the sixth.
CCU pulled away yet again, however, with three in the sixth. La Stella led off the frame with a single, and after two strikeouts, Motter entered the batter’s box and recorded his first home run of the season. Woodward singled and stole second to get into scoring position for Noel, who drove him home with a single to straight-away center field.
The seemingly relentless scoring cooled off a bit as neither team could manufacture a run in the next inning and a half.
That was until the eighth, however, when Coastal Carolina erupted for 14 runs in the final two innings. CSU tried to mount one more potential comeback, but the deficit was too great and the home team was only able to muster three in the eighth and none in the ninth.
Burkett led CSU with four runs batted in and four runs scored. Chinners extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a 2-for-3 performance. He also drove in a run and scored twice. Still and Dolan were the other Bucs to record multiple hits, as they both went 2-for-4 from the dish. Still drove home two and scored once.
McCready (0-4) lasted just two innings after giving up five runs (three earned) on just four hits. Brase relieved McCready and walked three straight batters before exiting with the bases loaded. All three batters scored on Vick, but were all credited to Brase. Vick lasted 2.2 innings and gave up four runs (two earned) on four hits.
Corey Deighan, Tim Flight, George Schaefer, Michael Catoe, Matt Walker and Cam Sessions all saw time on the mind, with nobody able to find an answer for the Chanticleer attack.
Noel, La Stella, Motter and Woodward all recorded four hits to lead Coastal Carolina, and Motter hit for the cycle. La Stella led the way with seven RBI, and Motter was right behind with five. Noel scored five times, and La Stella and Woodward each scored four runs.
Jim Birmingham started on the mound for CCU and was lifted after just 2.2 innings, not factoring into the decision. Charleston Southern touched him up for a season-high three earned runs on four hits, while walking three and striking out just two.
Josh Conway entered the game and nearly allowed CSU to tie the game. He gave up four runs on three hits in an inning of work. Austin Fleet (2-1) picked up the win as he relieved Conway and threw 3.1 innings, allowing three runs on four hits. Mike Hughes and Jackson Geary threw the final two innings for the Chanticleers.
Charleston Southern and Coastal Carolina will complete the series at 1 p.m. March 21 as the Buccaneers look to take a game off the Chanticleers.
Thornburg (3-1, 5.26) returns to the mound for CSU after his nationally-recognized victory over No. 6 University of Florida March 14. He will be matched up against CCU’s Anthony Meo (3-0, 3.66).Related Item: Box Score