No. 1 CCU defeats No. 3 Radford on diamond

Rock Hill, SC - From the Big South Conference:

ROCK HILL, SC – No. 1 seed Coastal Carolina scored 10 runs in the second inning and withstood a furious rally from No. 3 seed Radford in defeating the Highlanders, 11-9, in Game 7 of the 2010 Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship, May 27 at The Winthrop Ballpark on the campus of Winthrop University.

With the victory, Coastal Carolina improves to 49-7 and will play the winner of No. 2 Liberty-No. 4 High Point Friday at 3:00pm.  Radford is eliminated with the loss and ends its season at 29-26.

Coastal Carolina batted around in the second inning and jumped ahead 10-0.  Chance Gilmore opened the scoring with a two-run double, then Rico Noel had an RBI-double, Scott Woodward had an RBI ground out, Jose Iglesias contributed an RBI-single and Tommy La Stella belted a two-run home run that sent Radford starter Eddie Butler to the showers.

New pitcher Brad Wimmer gave up a two-run single to Gilmore, who eventually scored on a wild pitch for the 10th and final run of the inning.  Taylor Motter doubled twice in the inning and Gilmore had four RBI in his two trips to the plate.

In the fourth, Radford's Tyren Rivers blasted a grand slam to make it 10-4.  It was his sixth home run of the season.  Matt Hillsinger had reached on a fielder's choice and Andrew Cook followed with a walk.  After Robert Lamas struck out, Coastal Carolina starter Cody Wheeler walked Phil Bondi to load the bases before Rivers homered to left center.

The Highlanders batted around in the fifth inning and plated four runs to close the gap to 10-8.  Raphael Turner singled with one out and Alex Guerra followed with a fielder's choice.  Turner was safe at second on an error on the play, and scored on Hillsinger's single to center.  Cook singled to left to score Guerra, and after the second out was recorded, Bondi delivered a single to center to score Hillsinger.  Rivers singled to left to bring home Cook to make it a two-run game.

La Stella gave the Chanticleers some breathing room with this second home run of the game in the sixth inning.  In the eighth, Radford narrowed the margin to two runs again when Brett Mollenhauer opened the inning with a triple and scored on Turner's double to the gap.

Gilmore and La Stella did the most damage for Coastal Carolina.  Gilmore was 2-4 with four RBI, while La Stella finished 3-4 with three runs driven in.  He increased his season home run total to 13 with his two blasts on the day.  Adam Rice and Motter also had two hits for the Chanticleers.  Radford was led by Rivers' five RBI and Turner's three hits.

Matt Rein earned the win in relief of Wheeler.  Rein went three innings, allowed one run and struck out four.  Wheeler allowed eight runs (five earned) on seven hits in 4.1 innings pitched.  Austin Fleet retired the Highlanders in order in the ninth inning for his eighth save of the season.  Butler suffered the loss for Radford, lasting just 1.1 innings on the mound.