Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Media Relations
CONWAY, SC - Coastal Carolina scored nine runs between the third and fourth innings and held on for a 14-7 decision Sunday to complete a weekend sweep of Gardner-Webb at Watson Stadium.
The Chanticleers (24-12, 10-2 Big South) have swept league opponents in each of the last three weekends and are 9-2 overall in April during the span with one-run losses at #26 Clemson and #1 Virginia, leading both games going into the top of the ninth.
Taylor Motter went 3-for-4 with three runs scored to lead Coastal on Sunday, tying a career high with two doubles and stealing a career-high three bases. Scott Woodward was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, Tommy La Stella drove in three, Rich Witten had two hits with two RBI and Tucker Frawley drove in two.
La Stella got things started with a solo home run, his ninth round-tripper of the season, to give Coastal a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Gardner-Webb (20-13-1, 6-9 Big South) got that run back in the top of the second. Scott Coleman doubled and moved to third on a Jake Watts single. Aaron Miller lined out to left, but the ball was deep enough to drive in Coleman
The Chants regained the advantage in the third, scoring six runs and sending 11 men to the plate. Woodward and La Stella drew walks and Witten doubled off the centerfield wall to plate both Woodward and La Stella. A wild pitch moved Witten to third and Keith Hardwick was hit by a pitch to put runners on the corners. Motter walked to load the bases and Frawley followed with walk as well, plating Witten and chasing starter Brett Stackhouse (1-2). Adam Izokovic came out of the bullpen to get a strike out and looked to limit the damage with a Jacob May ground ball, but an error on the routine play allowed two runs to score. Woodward then made the score 7-1 with an RBI double.
The Runnin' Bulldogs bounced back with four runs on three doubles in the fourth, making the score 7-5. Dusty Quattlebaum had a leadoff double and moved to third on Coleman's single. Watts came through with an RBI fielder's choice. On a hit-and-run, Miller drove in his second run of the game with an RBI double down the left field line, marking the end of the day for CCU starter Jim Birmingham. Aaron Burke came on to walk one and get a ground out, but catcher John Harris lined a two-run double off the centerfield wall. With runners on the corners, Matt Laney (2-1) was next out of the CCU bullpen and the senior ended the inning with a strike out.
Laney would earn the win, pitching 3.1 innings. He allowed three hits and two runs (one earned) with two strike outs. The earned run allowed was the first surrendered by the senior this season in 10 appearances and 15.2 innings.
Undaunted after allowing four runs, Coastal got three of those runs back in the home half of the fourth for a 10-5 lead. The Chants got a one-out double from Witten and Hardwick traded places with him with an RBI double to right-center field. Hardwick would then score when Motter reached and took second on a throwing error by GWU's Coleman. Motter would steal third and score on Frawley's sacrifice fly to right-center field.
The Chants kept it going in the fifth, scoring twice. Jacob May had a leadoff triple and Woodward singled through the drawn-in infield to plate may. Woodward would steal second, advance to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored when La Stella reached on an error. In the sixth, Motter singled, stole second and third then scored on Tripp Martin's RBI double. Walks to Woodward and Orton loaded the bases and La Stella followed with an RBI walk to make the score 14-5.
Gardner-Webb pushed two runs across in the top of the seventh, providing the final of 14-7. Matt Sapp and pinch hitter Ryan Allen singled, the first hit of the year of Allen. After a ground ball moved the twp up 90 feet, Sapp scored on a passed ball and Allen would score on Coleman's RBI ground out.
For the Runnin' Bulldogs, Coleman and Miller each had two hits with Miller and Harris each driving in two.
Coastal Carolina will return to the road Tuesday to play at #5 North Carolina. First pitch in Chapel Hill, N.C., is set for 6 pm. Coastal will then return home to host The Citadel Wednesday with first pitch also set for 6 pm.