From Coastal Carolina University
CONWAY, S.C. – For the third straight day, the seventh-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (12-1) had to come-from-behind to beat an opponent. This time, the Chants scored four runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to defeat Wake Forest (6-7) 9-4 March 9 in Conway, S.C. Coastal has now won 10 games in a row.
Freshman Mike Hughes was making his first collegiate start, but gave up a double to Patrick Blair and a home run to Steven Brooks to quickly fall behind 2-0. Coastal answered with an unearned run in the bottom of the first. Redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella doubled with one out. He went to third on a flyout from senior Jose Iglesias and scored on a ground ball by sophomore Daniel Bowman that got past Steven Kroker.
Wake came back with a run in the second as Mark Rhine's groundout to shortstop scored Austin Stadler, who opened the inning with a single. The game would remain 3-1 until the top of the sixth. Mike Murray doubled down the right field line. He went to third on a failed pickoff attempt by junior Matt Rein and scored on a Carlos Lopez groundout.
Coastal's bullpen kept the Demon Deacons at bay and the offense would answer in the seventh. Sophomore Taylor Motter doubled to start the inning. He went to third on a single from sophomore Steve Davis and scored on a bunt single by junior Scott Woodward. Junior Rico Noel then doubled home Davis to make it 4-3 Wake. La Stella tied the game with a groundout and Bowman gave the Chants the lead with a groundout to second base.
In the eighth, freshman Josh Conway walked and stole second. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Motter and scored on a double by Davis. Joel Ernst hit Woodward and gave up an infield single to Noel. La Stella would then bring home a run with a single to center and Iglesias scored a pair of runs with a single.
Davis went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Chants, while Noel, La Stella and senior Adam Rice had two hits apiece. For Wake, Murray and Austin Stadler had two hits, while Brooks drove in a pair of runs.
The Chants bullpen was stellar as it has been all year. Rein pitched 3.2 innings, allowing just three hits, an unearned run and striking out three. Freshman Ryan Connolly did not allow a hit in 1.2 innings of work. Junior Matt Laney got the last out in the eighth and redshirt-senior Austin Fleet gave up a hit and a walk in the ninth, but got Matt Conway to strike out looking, Ryan Lloyd to pop out and Mac Williamson to fly out to end the game.
The loss fell to Zach White out of the pen. He gave up two runs in a third of an inning. Brandon Johnson earned the start for Wake. He allowed an unearned run and five hits in four innings.
Hughes struck out three and gave up four hits and three runs in 2.1 innings pitched.
Coastal will return to action Friday, March 12 against Illinois in the Caravelle Resort Classic. First pitch is at 4 p.m.