BATON ROUGE, LA (WMBF) - Coastal baseball used some ninth inning magic last Tuesday against N.C. State to win the Raleigh Regional, and needed it once more in Baton Rouge on Sunday. But the Chants once again delivered, to book a trip to the College World Series.
LSU tied the game in the top of the ninth after an error and a collision at first base after Jake Fraley laid down a sacrifice bunt. However, reliever Bobby Holmes didn't waver, shutting down the Tigers, and forcing them to leave the bases loaded.
"I don't really know what happened there, I kind of blacked out in moments like that," Holmes explained.
"That ninth inning, we were very lucky to get just one run (allowed)," head coach Gary Gilmore said. "Hugely lucky to get out of there with just one run."
Coastal's offensive turn came in the bottom half, and the confidence was brimming at the top of the lineup with Anthony Marks and Michael Paez.
"I joked around, always saying 'we're going to take us to Omaha', and you say that, but here we are now," said Marks. "And really I was just trying to grind through that at-bat."
He did so by drawing a walk, and then stole second base to move into scoring position. Paez would finish the job by bringing Marks home and sending Coastal to Omaha.
"When I saw Marks steal second base, I knew I just needed to get a ball to the outfield and that guy was going to score," explained Paez. "I knew I needed to get the ball to the outfield and he's going to score no matter what."
The hustle on the play gave the Chants a super regional sweep, and even with the drama of another ninth inning bounce back, those in the dugout remained confident this team would get its victory.
"I was looking at it," said closer Mike Morrison. "We had Paez, Dalton (Ewing), Zach (Remillard) and G.K. (Young) coming up too, and I knew one of those guys were going to get a hit, and it was unbelievable man. Just a dead sprint out there to tackle his little butt and just to go nuts."
Coastal Carolina next takes part in the College World Series this weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. The first two of four first round games begin on Saturday.