CCU baseball stays perfect in Big South

From Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY, S.C. – The fourth-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (38-6, 16-0 Big South) set a school record for Big South wins without a loss in a season in its 6-4 win over UNC Asheville (12-28, 5-15 Big South) May 1 at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.  Coastal Carolina hit a pair of home runs in the game and held on in the ninth inning to preserve the win.

The Chants jumped out in the first with a run as senior Jose Iglesias belted his 10th home run of the season, a lined shot to left field.  For the second straight day, UNC Asheville would score a pair in the second.  Ian Graham walked to start the frame.  He went to third on a Mike Vaughn doubled and scored as the ball was misplayed by junior Rico Noel.  Vaughn would move to third and scored on separate groundouts from Robert McIntosh and Beau Zinman. 

Coastal would retake the lead in the fourth as senior Adam Rice hit a two-run shot over the left field wall.  It was his fifth home run of the season.

Junior Cody Wheeler pitched his way out of trouble in the sixth.  Catlin Carter led off the inning with a single and moved to second on a Danny Baatz sacrifice bunt.  Carter went to third on a wild pitch and the Bulldogs would put runners on the corners as Justin Schumer walked.  Wheeler got a big out as Ian Graham struck out.  He then got Vaughn to fly out to end the inning.  Coastal quickly answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth as sophomore Taylor Motter singled home Iglesias, who doubled to lead off the sixth.

The Chants would score the winning runs in the seventh.  Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore doubled to left to lead off the inning.  Gilmore moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Steve Davis and scored on a Noel single.  Noel then stole second and scored on a double from junior Scott Woodward.

With the score 6-2 in the ninth, Asheville made a rally.  Vaughn singled to lead off the inning.  McIntosh reached on an error by redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella to put runners on first and second with no one out.  McIntosh would be erased on a fielder's choice, but C.A. Clayton singled off redshirt-senior Austin Fleet to make it 6-3.  Cody Buch then loaded the bases with a single through the right side.  Another fielder's choice by Carter scored Zinman but with the go-ahead run at the plate, Fleet got Baatz to ground out to end the game.

Iglesias, Rice, Motter and Bowman had two hits apiece for the Chants.  Rice drove in a pair, while Iglesias scored two runs.  For Asheville, Vaughn and Clayton had two hits apiece.

Wheeler moved to 8-0 on the year and 24-1 in his career, allowing just three hits and two runs with four strikeouts in six innings of work.  Freshman Ryan Connolly allowed a hit and struck out a batter in two innings of relief, while Fleet allowed an earned run and three hits in the ninth.  The loss went to Ryan Dull, who allowed 10 hits and six earned runs with three strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

Coastal's 16 wins without a loss surpasses the 1988 team that went 15-0 in the Big South.

Coastal Carolina and UNC Asheville will conclude the three-game series Sunday, May 2 at 2 p.m.