CCU baseball wins big over Blue Hose

From Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY, S.C. – Junior Rico Noel and senior Jose Iglesias drove in five runs apiece and junior Cody Wheeler pitched seven strong innings as the 14th-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (21-5, 3-0 Big South) earned a 14-1 win over Presbyterian College (7-18, 1-3 Big South) April 2 in Conway, S.C.

The Chants jumped out for three runs in the first.  PC's Jesse Harmon walked Noel and junior Scott Woodward to start the inning.  Iglesias quickly cleared the bases, belting a three-run home run to left field to make it 3-0.  Presbyterian would score its run on a Gabe Grammar groundout in the third that plated Aaron Preston.  The Chants then put three more runs across in the third.  Noel walked and stole second.  He moved to third on a balk and scored on a Woodward single.  Woodward then stole second and scored on an Iglesias double.  Redshirt-sophomore Tommy LaStella doubled to moved Iglesias to third.  Iglesias would then scored on a single by senior Adam Rice, making it 6-0 Chants.

A Noel groundout scored sophomore Taylor Motter in the fourth.  Then in the sixth, redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore led off the inning with a double.  He would score on a Motter single.  Sophomore Steve Davis then reached on a bunt single.  Noel then bunted to first.  PC got Davis out at second, but the bunt scored Motter to make it 9-1.  Iglesias ended the scoring in the sixth with a bloop single down the right field line.

In the seventh, junior Hayes Orton singled home redshirt-sophomore Rich Witten, who doubled to open the inning.  Then with runners at the corners, Noel hit a liner to center that got past Preston.  He motored around the bases and scored on an inside-the-park home run, making it 14-1 Chants.  It was Noel's fifth home run of the year and the second in as many games.

The 14 runs were more than enough for Wheeler.  He went seven innings and allowed just two hits and a run with 10 strikeouts and three walks.  Redshirt-freshman Jackson Geary and senior Dan Lombardozzi each pitched an inning of hitless relief, with Lombardozzi striking out a pair of Blue Hose.

The loss was tagged to Harmon, who gave up eight runs and six hits with four strikeouts and four walks in five-plus innings.

Woodward and Iglesias had three hits apiece, while Noel and Woodward scored three runs.  Ryan Morris and Derek Herron had the hits for PC.

Coastal put pressure on the Blue Hose defense, as it stole eight bases on the night.  Woodward had four of them, while Noel swiped three bags.

Coastal and Presbyterian will play a doubleheader Saturday, April 3 starting at 2 p.m.  It will be "March of Dimes Day" at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.