From Coastal Carolina University
LEXINGTON, Va. – The seventh-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (36-5, 14-0 Big South) completed a three-game Big South Conference series sweep of VMI (29-12, 10-8 Big South) with a 6-2 victory April 25 in Lexington, Va. The Chanticleers have now won 17 games in a row and 24 straight Big South contest dating back to 2009.
Coastal Carolina scored a run in the first for the third straight day. Junior Rico Noel walked on a 10-pitch at-bat to lead off the game. He moved to second on a groundout by junior Scott Woodward and went to third on senior Jose Iglesias' ground out. Redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella then reached on an infield single, scoring Noel and giving the Chants a 1-0 lead.
VMI tied the game at one in the bottom of the first. Redshirt-senior Austin Fleet walked Sam Roberts. Roberts went to second on a Jordan Ballard groundout and scored on a single through the left side by Graham Sullivan.
In the top of the second, the Chanticleers hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time this season. Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore hit his ninth home run of the season, a shot to the gap in right field. Sophomore Taylor Motter then hit his second home run of the series with a deep fly down the line in left field. Gilmore and Motter hit back-to-back home runs for the second time this season. The duo did the trick April 6 in a 20-1 win over UNC Wilmington.
In the third, Woodward opened the inning with a walk. He moved to third on ground-ball outs from Iglesias and La Stella. Senior Adam Rice then hit a grounder deep in the hole at shortstop. The throw was late, allowing Woodward to score and giving the Chants a 4-1 lead.
VMI scored an unearned run in the fourth. Alex Haitsuka reached on a Woodward error to open the inning. He stole second and went to third on Iglesias' first throwing error of the season. He would score on a single to left by George Piccirilli.
Sophomore Daniel Bowman opened the sixth inning with a home run to left field, his ninth of the season. The Chants added insurance in the ninth as Woodward singled to right, stole second, moved to third on a Haitsuka throwing error and scored on an Iglesias groundout.
La Stella went 4-for-5 with a run-batted-in for the Chants, while Bowman, Gilmore and Motter had two hits apiece. For VMI, five Keydets had a hit apiece.
Fleet threw the first four innings, striking out seven and allowing four hits and an earned run with a walk. Junior Matt Rein earned the win, striking out six and allowing a hit in four innings of work. Freshman Ryan Connolly pitched the final inning, striking out a pair of Keydets.
Sam Roberts was tagged with the loss, allowing four runs and four hits in three innings of work.
The 17-game winning streak is the second highest in Coastal Carolina history. The Chants won 19 games in a row March 8-April 1, 1983.
Coastal Carolina concludes its nine-game road trip Tuesday, April 27 at #2 Virginia. First pitch is at 5 p.m., in Charlottesville, Va.