CCU sweeps Liberty

From Coastal Carolina University

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The fourth-ranked Coastal Carolina University (45-6, 23-0 Big South) pitching staff recorded its fifth shutout of the season and completed a series sweep of Liberty (37-15, 18-6 Big South) with a 5-0 win May 16 in Lynchburg, Va.  The Chanticleers have now won 33 straight Big South games and have won 26 of its last 27 games after allowing just three hits to the Flames' offense.

Coastal Carolina wiggled its way out of a jam in the first, and then scored the first run of the game in the top of the second.  Freshman Josh Conway hit Curran Redal with his first pitch.  He struck out Matt Williams, but Tyler Bream reached on an error, putting runners on the corners.  P.J. Jimenez then hit a liner right at first baseman Rich Witten, who caught it and tapped first base for the inning-ending double play.  Redshirt-sophomore Tommy La Stella opened the second with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Taylor Motter.  La Stella would score on redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore's double off the wall in left field.

The Chants made it 2-0 in the third as junior Rico Noel doubled and scored on a single to left by junior Scott Woodward.  Coastal added a run in the third as sophomore Daniel Bowman singled home Gilmore, who doubled with one out in the inning.

Both teams put up zeroes until the Chants scored twice in the top of the ninth.  Woodward walked with one out and moved to second on a Rice walk.  Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch and the Flames intentionally walked La Stella to load the bases.  Motter then extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a double in the left field gap, scoring Woodward and Rice and giving Coastal a 5-0 advantage.

Conway earned his second win of the season, pitching five innings and allowing just two hits and striking out four.  The bullpen of junior Matt Rein and Matt Laney, freshman Ryan Connolly and redshirt-senior Austin Fleet allowed just one hit with four strikeouts.  The loss was charged to Dustin Umberger, who gave up three runs and seven hits in 3.1 innings of work.

Woodward, La Stella and Gilmore had two hits apiece, while Motter drove in a pair with a double.  For Liberty, Tyler Bream had two of Liberty's three hits.

Coastal Carolina will play its last midweek game of the season Tuesday, May 18 against the College of Charleston.  Game time is at 6 p.m, at BB&T Coastal Field in Myrtle Beach, S.C.