CCU finishes Big South sweep

From Coastal Carolina University

CONWAY, S.C. – The fourth-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (39-6, 17-0 Big South) completed a three-game series sweep of UNC Asheville (12-29, 5-16 Big South) with a 7-1 win May 2 in Conway, S.C.  The Chants have now won 30 straight Big South home games dating back to 2008.

The game started as a pitcher's duel between Coastal's Josh Conway and UNC Asheville's Justin Schumer.  Schumer had only allowed one hit in the first five innings, but the Chants manufactured a run in the fourth off of it.  Junior Scott Woodward singled to right to open the inning.  He went to second on a walk to senior Jose Iglesias.  Redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella sacrificed both runners up a base and sophomore Taylor Motter grounded out to second to score Woodward.

Conway scattered five hits in five frames and got two big double plays from his defense.  A 1-6-3 twin killing ended a Bulldog rally in the second.  Then in the fourth, Danny Baatz and Justin Schumer each had singles, although Baatz was picked off at second.  Mike Vaughn then singled to left center, but Schumer stopped at second as Vaughn was going to turn a single into a double.  Junior Rico Noel threw into La Stella, who tagged out Vaughn.  He then threw to Woodward to tag out Schumer to end the inning.

UNC Asheville would tie the game in the fifth as Cody Buch hit his second home run of the season over the wall in left field.

Coastal would take the lead for good in the sixth.  Noel walked and moved to second on a sacrifice from Woodward.  Noel then stole third and scored on a throwing error from Jonny Eaker.  Iglesias then hit a 2-0 pitch from Schumer over the wall in left to make it 3-1 Chants.  It was Iglesias' 11th home run of the season.

Senior Adam Rice and redshirt-sophomore Rich Witten then each went deep in the seventh to make it 5-1 Chants.  A two-run double from Motter in the eighth gave the Chants insurance in picking up their 39th win of the season.

Junior Matt Laney earned the win in relief, striking out two in two innings of work.  Conway allowed five hits and a run with four strikeouts in five innings.  Freshman Ryan Connolly and redshirt-senior Austin Fleet struck out three in an inning of work apiece.  Schumer took the loss, allowing just three hits and three runs with five strikeouts and four walks in six innings of work.

La Stella had two hits for the Chants, while Motter drove in three runs.  For UNC Asheville, Robert McIntosh, Cody Buch and Jacob Edwards had two hits apiece.

Coastal Carolina takes the midweek off for final exams and returns to action Saturday, May 8 against Winthrop.  Game time is at 6 p.m., at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.  UNC Asheville is at East Tennessee State Tuesday, May 11 at 7 p.m.