Coastal Carolina had 11 straight batters reach base safely in the bottom of the eighth in game one to take an 11-4 come-from-behind win over Campbell and Daniel Bowman hit a three-run home run in game two a held on for a 6-5 win.
In game number two, Aaron Burke, who got the win in game one to improve to 8-3, entered the game with two out, the bases loaded and the Chants’ clinging to a one-run lead.
Campbell catcher Ben Fish hit a slow roller down the third base line. Burke would gather the ball in front of third baseman Chris Suseck, pivoted and threw a short hop to first, which Rich Witten picked out of the dirt to record the final out.
In game one, Burke got a win in his fourth consecutive appearance. The junior pitched the final 3.2 innings, allowing no runs, one hit and two walks with a strikeout. In getting his seventh save of the season in game two, the Chanticleers have 22 as a team, tying VMI (2007) for the Big South record.
Campbell got on the board first. Nick Ray drew a leadoff walk to start the second inning and Ben Fish deposited the first pitch he saw over the left field wall for a two-run home run. Erick Gaylord followed with a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt and single by Jimmy Brenneman put runners on the corners, Ben McQuown executed a safety squeeze, plating Gaylord.
Coastal broke through in the third. Justin Creel was hit by a pitch to start the home half and Coastal would load the bases with one out thanks to singles by Jacob May and Ted Blackman. Bowman picked up an easy RBI, walking to bring home Creel. However, Campbell starter Matt Sergey would get a pop out and ground out to keep the score at 3-1.
In the fifth, Coastal scored in the same fashion to trim its deficit to one, 3-2. Brian Pruett reached on an error, May reached on a bunt single and the pair moved up 90 feet on a Blackman sacrifice bunt. The Camels intentionally walked Bowman to lead the bases and Alex Buccilli, who had three RBI in game one, walked on four pitches to force home Pruett. Sergey once again escaped further damage by getting an inning-ending double play.
The Camels got that run back in the sixth when Fish hit a leadoff home run over the right-center field wall. Coastal responded with a run in the bottom of the sixth. Tucker Frawley walked and moved to third on Sloan Giliam’s single. Creel, facing new pitcher Ryan Mattes, drove in Frawley as he reached on a throwing error.
Coastal tied the game and took its first lead in the bottom of the eighth. After an out, 11 consecutive Chants reached base safely (seven hits, three walks and a hit by pitch) to take an 11-4 lead. Singles by Gilliam, Creel and Pruett made the score 4-4 as Pruett’s flair to center brought home pinch runner Luke Willis. After May walked to load the bases, Blackman reached on an infield single to put Coastal on top 5-4. Bowman then singled to right, driving in his second run of the day. With the bases still loaded, Buccilli brought home May and Blackman with a two-run single to left field. Frawley, who started the inning with a fly out, kept the rally going with an RBI single. Willis, who had come in as a pinch runner, got an at bat, walking to force home the 11th run of the game. Pinch hitter Keith Picconi was hit by a pitch, keeping the bases loaded and bringing home Witten.
Tyler Herb, after taking a no hitter into the seventh inning at Liberty, struggled through 5.1 innings today, but was really hurt by two pitches, a two-run home run and a solo shot. He would allow five hits and four runs, while walking four and striking out a season-low one. Sergey was in line for the win despite walking four as he allowed five hits and three runs (one earned). Ryan Mattes (4-2) suffered the loss, allowing three hits and three runs in two innings.
In game two, Coastal scored first, taking advantage of two errors in the third. Pruett reached on an error and took second on the play. May followed with a sacrifice but, but would reach on an error, allowing Pruett to score on the play.
In the fifth, Pruett had a leadoff double and Blackman walked, setting up a three-run home run by Bowman. The blast was the senior’s sixth of the season and 46th for his illustrious career.
Campbell took advantage of two singles and an error to start the sixth to score. Michael Felton and Jake Kirkland had back-to-back singles. David Olson’s ground ball to second was misplayed, allowing Felton to score and put runners on the corners. Ryan Connolly came out of the bullpen with one out. He got a foul out and a strikeout. However, one pitch prior to the strikeout, a passed ball allowed Kirkland to come home to make the score 4-2.
Coastal got those two runs back in the seventh, taking a 6-2 lead. With the bases loaded, Witten lined a two-run single back up the middle. Bowman scored for the third time Saturday, marking the 196th time he has scored home in his career to move into eighth on the Big South career list (third in CCU history).
The Camels cut their deficit in half, 6-3, in the top of the eighth. With one out, Olson singled and Ray followed with a double. Pinch hitter Bryce Grady brought home Olson with an RBI ground out.
Campbell loaded the bases in the ninth when Brenneman drew a one-out walk while Ben McQuown and Felton followed with singles. With two out, Olson lined a two-run single off Patrick Corbett to right-center field to make the score 6-5, leaving runners on the corners. Ben Smith walked Ray to load the bases. Burke came out to record the final out.
CCU starter Austin Wallace improved to 4-0. He lasted 5.1 innings, allowing six hits and two unearned runs with two walks and four strikeouts. Frank Zier (3-3) took the loss, allowing nine hits and six runs over 6.1 innings.
The teams will play a single game Sunday with first pitch set for 2 p.m.