RADFORD, Va. – The fourth-ranked Coastal Carolina University baseball team (47-7, 25-0 Big South) scored three runs in the ninth inning in a come-from-behind 8-6 win over Radford (29-24, 15-11 Big South) May 21 in Radford, Va. The Chanticleers have now won 35 straight Big South games.
The Chants were trailing the Highlanders 6-5 heading into the ninth. Junior Scott Woodward led off the inning by hitting a home run down the left field line, his fourth of the season, to tie the game at six. Radford reliever Jason Patten hit senior Jose Iglesias and gave up a single to redshirt-sophomore Tommy LaStella. Senior Adam Rice moved both runners over on sacrifice bunt. Then as Patten was going to intentionally walk sophomore Taylor Motter, he started to pitch and stopped, forcing Iglesias in on a balk. Patten walked Motter and then Bowman was safe at first on a fielder's choice, scoring LaStella to give the Chants the 8-6 lead. Redshirt-senior Austin Fleet recorded the win, getting the Highlanders out in the ninth for his fifth victory of the season.
Junior Rico Noel led off the game with his first triple of the season, a shot in the gap in right field. Noel scored on a grounder by Woodward. Woodward was safe on a throwing error by Brett Mollenhauer. He then was thrown out trying to steal second. LaStella doubled to center with two out, but was stranded at second to end the inning.
The Chants added a run in the fourth as Bowman doubled to left and scored on a single from redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore. Radford broke the shutout in the bottom of the fourth. Reggie keen hit a one-out double to left field. He moved to third on a Raphael Turner single and scored on a sacrifice fly from Alex Guerra.
Woodward led off the fifth with a single. He moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single up the middle by senior Jose Iglesias, giving the Chants a 3-1 lead. Coastal made it 4-1 in the sixth as Gilmore walked, stole second, went to third on freshman Josh Conway's groundout and scored on a single by Noel.
The Highlanders scored three runs in the sixth to tie the game at four. Junior Cody Wheeler struck out Phil Bondi to open the inning, but Tyren Rivers singled up the middle for the fourth Radford hit of the game. Wheeler then gave up walks to Brett Mollenhauer and Reggie Keen to load the bases. A Wheeler wild pitch scored Rivers to make it 4-2. Wheeler walked Turner to load the bases again. Junior Matt Laney came in and gave up a two-run single to Guerra to tie the game at four. Laney then struck out Matt Hillsinger and freshman Ryan Connolly got Robert Lamas to ground into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Coastal retook the lead in the top of the seventh. Woodward walked on four pitches and moved to second on an Iglesias sacrifice bunt. Radford reliever Abram Williams struck out La Stella but walked Rice. Motter then reached on an infield single as Woodward came all the way around from second base, giving the Chants the 5-4 lead.
Radford took the lead for the first time in the series in the seventh. Connolly gave up a one-out double to Rivers. He retired Mollenhauer on a groundout, but walked Keen. Redshirt-sophomore Keith Hessler came in and walked Turner to load the bases. Guerra came up big again, ripping a single to left to score two runs and give the Highs a 6-5 lead lead they would have until the ninth.
Noel, Woodward and LaStella had two hits apiece for the Chants. Woodward also scored three runs and drove in a pair. For Radford, Guerra was a perfect 3-for-3 with five RBI's. Rivers added two hits.
Wheeler struck out nine in 5.1 innings and gave up four hits and four runs with three walks. Fleet struck out a pair in two innings of relief. Radford starter Eddie Butler struck out five and gave up six hits and four runs with four walks in 5.1 innings. Patten allowed three runs and two hits in an inning of work as he fell to 5-4 on the season.
Coastal Carolina and Radford wrap up the regular season Saturday, May 22 at 1 p.m., in Radford, Va.