Meier's Ninth-Inning Run Puts Bucs Past No. 26 Coastal Carolina 4-3May 20, 2011
by CSU Sports Information
CONWAY, S.C. – Brantley Meier scored two of Charleston Southern’s four runs, including the game winner in the top of the ninth as the Buccaneers upset nationally ranked Coastal Carolina 4-3 and handed the Chanticleers their first Big South home loss of the season at Watson Stadium in Conway, S.C., on Friday evening.
The Bucs (28-27, 15-11) took an early lead that they never surrendered, as the Big South’s top-ranked Chanticleers (36-18, 19-7) would tie things up but never jump ahead. The win guarantees that CSU will finish in the top four of the Big South, marking their highest finish since 2002 when they took third place in the conference with a record of 12-9. It is also the first time in 15 seasons the Bucs have reached 27 overall wins and 15 league wins, as they went 30-24-1 and 17-4 in the BSC in 1996. They are currently tied for third place with Winthrop, though they hold the tiebreaker over the Eagles.
The win was also the first time Charleston Southern has beaten Coastal Carolina since 2006. The Bucs downed the Chants 9-5 at CSU Ballpark on March 25 of that year.
Derek Smith powered the offense with three RBI, including a two-run single with two outs in the top of the fifth. Meier went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI, while Brandon McKinney and Tom Burkett each had two hits as the Bucs out-hit the Chanticleers 10-7.
Jesse Cadenhead got off to a strong start for the Bucs, striking out seven batters and giving up two runs off five hits. He gave way to Ali Williams in the bottom of the fifth, who gave up one run in 3.0 innings while striking out two. Charlie McCready came in to finish things off, holding CCU hitless to pick up his sixth win of the season.
Seven different CCU batters had one hit each. Rich Witten, Jacob May and Taylor Motter scored for the Chanticleers, who had seven hits and two errors. Starting pitcher Josh Conway gave up three runs off of six hits, but it was Ryan Connolly who gave up the game-winner and took the loss.
Burkett doubled down the left field line to pick up the Bucs’ first hit of the day in the top of the third. Meier singled up the middle, advancing on a CCU error and driving home Burkett to put the Bucs ahead 1-0.
CSU added to their lead in the top of the fifth. Meier and Alex Tomasovich had back-to-back singles, and were advanced on a single by Jaren Sustar. Smith then drove home Meier and Tomasovich, picking up his team-leading 44th and 44th RBI on a single to center field and keeping the Bucs in front 3-0. Nick Chinners walked to load the bases, but the Bucs couldn’t get another hit off of Conway in the inning.
Cadenhead struck out six in the first four innings, giving up his first run of the day in the bottom of the fifth. Witten doubled to right center, driving home May and putting the Chanticleers on the board down 3-1. Witten scored on a single by Daniel Bowman to left field, cutting the Bucs’ lead to just one.
An inning later, CCU’s Taylor Motter scored on a sacrifice fly by May to tie things up at 3-3.
After two scoreless innings, the Bucs loaded the bases in the top of the ninth. Meier took first after being hit by a pitch and advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Tomasovich. Sustar was also hit by a pitch, and a single by McKinney advanced both base runners. Just when it seemed like Smith had fouled out, a dropped foul ball gave him another shot. He grounded out to third base, putting Meier across home plate for the winning run. It was then three up, three down for the Chanticleers in the bottom of the ninth to give CSU the 4-3 win.
The two teams will meet again on Saturday in the regular season finale. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. at Watson Stadium in Conway.
Coach Lake's Postgame InterviewRelated Item: Box Score