Pitching shines as CCU sweeps VMI

Matt Rein pitching 5.2 innings of shut out baseball agaisnt VMI
Matt Rein pitching 5.2 innings of shut out baseball agaisnt VMI

CONWAY, SC - Coastal Carolina senior Keith Hardwick drove in two, including a solo home run, and five CCU pitchers combined to throw a six-hit shutout for a 5-0 win over VMI Sunday afternoon at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.

With the win, Coastal (30-15, 14-4 Big South) reaches 30 wins for the 14th consecutive season, wins its fifth straight and records its second shutout of the season (winning 6-0 at San Diego on Mar. 16). The Keydets fall to 21-22-1, 9-12 Big South.

Hardwick broke a scoreless tie with one out in the second, hitting a solo home run down the left field line. It was the senior's third round-tripper of the year.

In the sixth, Coastal extended its lead, scoring three on four hits . Tommy La Stella had a leadoff single and Daniel Bowman, who extended his hit streak to 18 games, put runners on the corners with a hit-and-run single. Rich Witten then extended his hit streak to 11 games with an RBI double down the left field line. Hardwick followed with a sacrifice fly, plating Bowman, and Taylor Motter, who had two hits, brought home Witten with an RBI double off the the top of the left field wall.

With two outs in the the seventh, La Stella, who had two hits and improved his batting average to .399 for the season, drove in his 51st run of the season with a double to center to plate Jacob May, who had a leadoff double, and provide the 5-0 final.

Matt Rein (6-2) earned the win, scattering five hits over 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out two. After allowing a leadoff single to Sam Roberts to start the game, Rein would get a double play and face just one over the minimum through four complete.

For VMI, Justin Hess led the way with two hits. Starting pitcher Jeremy Brown (3-3) suffered the loss. He allowed six hits and four runs with a walk and five strike outs.

Coastal Carolina will not play a mid-week game this coming week due to final exams. The Chants will return to action May 6-8 with a Friday-Saturday-Sunday weekend series versus Radford at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.