CCU baseball beats pair of Big Ten teams

From Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY, S.C. – The seventh-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (14-2) used the big inning to sweep action at the Caravelle Resort Classic March 13 in Conway, S.C.  The Chanticleers defeated Michigan (6-8) 13-4 and Illinois (2-7) 9-4.

Coastal Carolina scored three runs in the first against the Wolverines.  Junior Rico Noel singled to open the inning.  Redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella then singled to right, moving Noel to third.  Noel would score on a wild throw from Nick Urban, making it 1-0 Chants.  With two out, redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore singled to right to score senior Jose Igleisas.  Senior Adam Rice then tripled to center to bring in Gilmore and give Coastal a 3-0 lead.

The score would remain the same until the top of the fifth when John Lorenz walked, moved to third on a Garrett Stephens single and scored on a fielder's choice off the bat of Derek Dennis.  Coastal would come back with a five-spot in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by a three-run home run from Iglesias, his fourth of the year.  Michigan scored a pair in the seventh as Dennis homered to lead off the inning and Patrick Biondi scored on a bases-loaded walk.

Coastal added five more runs in the eighth.  Sophomore Steve Davis led off the inning with his first home run of the season. Iglesias brought in two more runs with a double down the left field line and Rice's second triple of the game brought in a pair to make it 14-3 Coastal.  Michigan added a run in the ninth, but redshirt-freshman Jackson Geary induced Mike Kittle into a double play to end the game.

Iglesias had five runs-batted-in and was 3-for-4 at the plate, while Rice went 4-for-5 with three RBI.  Davis added three hits as the Chants had 17 on the game.  For Michigan, Biondi and Chris Berset had two hits apiece.

Sophomore Anthony Meo improved to 3-0 on the season, allowing just two runs and six hits with four strikeouts in six innings of work.  Bobby Brosnahan took the loss, giving up six runs and 11 hits in 5.1 innings.

Illinois would score the first three runs of the nightcap as a Craig Lutes RBI single in the first, a Casey McMurray homer in the fourth and a wild pitch that scored Matt Dittman in the sixth saw the Chants in a three-run hole.  Coastal would bounce back in a big way in the bottom of the sixth.  La Stella doubled to open the inning.  He went to third on an Iglesias single.  Illinois starter Kevin Johnson then walked Rice to load the bases.  Nick Chmielewski then came in and walked sophomore Daniel Bowman to force in La Stella.  Gilmore reached on a fielder's choice to score Igleisas.  Sophomore Taylor Motter then tied the game at four with a double to left to bring in two runs.  Coastal would take a 5-4 lead as junior Scott Woodward singled home Motter.  Noel then doubled off Mike Sterk to score the sixth run.  Noel would then score on a failed pickoff attempt by Sterk.

Coastal made it 9-4 in the seventh as Gilmore scored Iglesias with a single and he would score on a Motter double and Michael Giller error.  Illinois would get a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Lutes but that would end the scoring, moving the Chants to 14-2 on the season.

Redshirt-junior Jim Birmingham earned his third win of the season, allowing just two earned runs and four hits in six innings of work. Freshman Josh Conway earned his first save of the year, striking out a pair and allowing four hits and a run in three innings of work.  Chmielewski was tagged with the loss, allowing two earned runs and two hits in two-thirds of an inning.

Igleisas, Gilmore and Motter had two hits apiece for the Chants, while McMurray and Willie Argo had two hits apiece for the Fighting Illini.

Coastal will wrap up its 13-game homestand Sunday, March 14 against Michigan in the final day of the Caravelle Resort Classic.  First pitch is at 1 p.m., at BB&T Coastal Field.