CCU sweeps VMI

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.