CCU on bubble after falling to Highlanders in title game

ccubase-26battingRadford scored a run in the eighth inning and got a walk-off RBI single from Hunter Higgerson in the ninth to give the 23rd-ranked Highlanders (43-14) a 5-4 win versus #27 Coastal Carolina (38-19) Saturday in the title game of the 2015 Big South Championship, played at Gardner-Webb’s John H. Moss Stadium.

Radford started the ninth with singles by Chris Coia and Shane Johnsonbaugh. After a pair of strikeouts, Higgerson, the tournament MVP, hit an RBI single to score Coia and give Radford the title.

Radford, the regular-season champion as well and winners of 15 straight, won the program’s first tournament title in their second appearance, finishing runner-up in 1993. The Chanticleers were playing in their 18th tournament championship game, winning 13 titles and now finishing runner-up five times.

Coastal Carolina had five hits and four runs in the fourth inning, but a trio of Radford pitchers afterwards threw a combined five scoreless innings without allowing a hit and just one walk to secure the victory. Ryan Meisinger (5-0) was credited with the win, pitching a perfect top of the ninth with two strikeouts. Kyle Palmer relieved starter Mitchell MacKeith and pitched 2.2 innings with a strikeout. Austin Ross worked an 1.1 with a walk and strikeout.

Mike Morrison (2-3) was the tough-luck loser despite tying a career high with seven strikeouts, including two each in the eighth and ninth innings. He pitched 3.2 innings and allowed two runs on five hits.

The Coastal Carolina baseball team will host an NCAA Road to Omaha Selection Show party Monday (May 25) at Handley’s Pub & Grub in Carolina Forest. The selection show will be telecast on ESPNU and begins at Noon (ET). The event is open to the public.

The NCAA will announce the 16 regional host sites at 8:30 pm (ET) on Sunday (May 24). The Chanticleers were one of two teams in the NCAA to rank among the top 20 in both RPI and Strength of Schedule prior to the Big South Championship. Coastal, which has made 12 Regional appearances since 2001, will be seeking their 14th overall appearance in an NCAA Regional.

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