Burke comes to rescue as Coastal snaps losing skid

All-American pitcher Aaron Burke got Coastal Carolina out of a huge jam in the sixth inning and the Chanticleers (5-8) scored five unanswered runs to claim a 5-3 victory over Ball State (5-7) in the Coastal Carolina Invitational, played at Pelicans Ballpark.

Burke (1-0) entered the game in the sixth inning with the bases loaded, no outs and Ball State leading 3-0. Burke got Wes Winkle to hit a chopper back to the mound. Burke fielded the ball and started a 1-2-3 double play. Burke then got a ground ball to end the inning. For the game, Burke pitched the final four innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three.

Seven Chanticleers recorded a hit, but freshman shortstop Nick Oberg, who was 0-for-4, drove in two, including CCU’s first run and its go-ahead run.

Coastal broke through with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, trimming its deficit to one. Colin Hering had a leadoff single and Justin Creel walked. After a sacrifice bunt, Oberg drove in Hering with an RBI ground out to second. Ted Blackman doubled down the right field line to bring home Creel and Jacob May walked to chase Jon Cisna. However, Tyler Jordan came out of the Ball State bullpen and ended the inning with a strikeout and kept the score 3-2.

Coastal erupted for three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a 5-3 lead. Will Remillard had a leadoff single and Coastal would load the bases with one out after Hering was hit by a pitch and Creel singled. Zach Remillard brought home the tying run with a single to left. Oberg then drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI fielder’s choice. On the play, a throwing error allowed Creel to score an insurance run.

Ball State got on the scoreboard first. Elbert DeVarie drew a leadoff walk to start the third inning, took third on a Ryan Spaulding single and scored on a wild pitch. In the fifth, DeVarie drew a two-out walk and scored on Blake Beemer’s line-drive triple down the right field line for a 2-0 lead.

The Cardinals extended their advantage to 3-0 in the sixth. Sean Godfrey, Cody Campbell and T.J. Wier had consecutive singles to start the frame, the last producing a run. Billy Wellman walked to load the bases with no outs and Coastal turned to Burke out of the bullpen. Burke induced a 1-2-3 double play and a ground ball to get out of the inning.

Tyler Herb started but did not figure in the decision. He pitched five-plus innings and allowed seven hits, three runs and three walks with six strikeouts.  Johnson (0-2) suffered the loss in relief for the Cardinals. He allowed three hits and three runs (two earned) over one inning.

Coastal Carolina will face Harvard Saturday at 3 pm, following Ball State-Ohio State at 11 am. Ohio State defeated Harvard 11-0 prior to Coastal’s game Friday night.

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