From Coastal Carolina University
LYNCHBURG, Va. – The fourth-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (43-6, 21-0 Big South) received another strong outing from sophomore Anthony Meo and pounded out 12 hits in its 5-2 win over Liberty (37-13, 18-4 Big South) May 14 in Lynchburg, Va. Meo recorded his 11th win of the season as the Chants won their seventh straight contest.
Junior Rico Noel opened the game by taking a 3-2 Steven Evans pitch over the wall in left field. It was the third time this season that Noel has hit a leadoff home run. The Chants put up a run in the top of the second. Sophomore Daniel Bowman led off the inning with a single to left. He moved to second as sophomore Taylor Motter reached on a bunt single to first base. With one out, freshman Josh Conway singled to left to score Bowman. Coastal would load the bases with one out, but Evans struck out junior Scott Woodward and got senior Jose Iglesias to fly out to end the threat.
After a 25-minute lightning delay in the bottom of the third, the Chants added a pair of runs in the fifth. Iglesias walked to start the inning and redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella followed with a two-run home run to right field. It was La Stella's 10th home run of the season.
The Chants tacked on another run in the eighth. Carter Browning retired the first two batters, but Conway reached on a single up the middle. Browning walked Noel and Liberty brought in Cameron Gianini. Woodward then reached on an infield single as the ball went off the glove of a diving Trey Wimmer at first, scoring Conway.
Liberty broke the shutout in the bottom of the eighth. Kenneth Negron led off the inning with an infield single. Matt Williams hit a one-out double in the gap in left field to score Negron. Meo was relieved by freshman Ryan Connolly and he gave up a single to Tyler Bream and a double down the right field line by Nathan Thompson that scored Williams, making it 5-2 Chants. Connolly beared down and got P.J. Jimenez to fly out. Junior Matt Laney then came in and got pinch hitter Justin Richardson to fly out to end the Flame threat.
Redshirt-senior Austin Fleet came on in the ninth and retired the Flames in order to give the Chants the first game of the series.
Meo struck out four and allowed five hits and two runs in 7.1 innings of work. Fleet picked up his seventh save of the season, while Laney and Connolly retired a batter apiece. For the Flames, Evans fell to 7-2 on the year, allowing four runs and nine hits in 4.1 innings of work. He struck out three and walked three.
Noel, La Stella, Motter and Conway had two hits apiece for Coastal. Thompson had two safties for the Flames.
Coastal Carolina and Liberty continue their three-game set Saturday, May 15 at 7 p.m.