Chants suffer tough loss to High Point in 12-inning dual

Coastal Carolina committed six errors, including two in the 12th inning, to help High Point claim an 8-5 victory Friday evening at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.

Due to the threat of inclement weather Sunday, the team will play a doubleheader Saturday, starting at 2 pm.

The Chanticleers (24-13, 7-3 Big South) fall to 1-7 in extra-inning games this season while the Panthers (23-18, 8-5) snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory Friday.

With one out in the 12th, Spencer Angelis reached on an error. Coastal looked to get out of the jam with a ground ball, but the Chants we only able to get one out on the Mike Miedzianowski fielder’s choice ground out. Miedzianowski would take second on a wild pitch and scored on Cody Manzella’s single to center. Manzella would take second on throw to the plate. Sean Wilson followed with a single to right field, scoring Manzella. A throwing error on the play allowed Wilson to score as well for an 8-5 lead.

Jamie Schultz (2-2) earned the win, pitching the final 4.2 innings. He allowed four hits and a run with four walks and two strikeouts. Coastal’s Ryan Connolly (2-2) was the tough-luck loser. He pitched the final three innings, allowing three hits and three runs – all unearned, with a walk and three strikeouts.

High Point jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, Willie Medina singled and moved to third on Ryne Rush’s double. Ryan Retz, the HPU starting pitcher and designated hitter, helped his cause with a bunt single, driving in Medina. CCU starter Josh Conway got a strikeout and Tucker Frawley ended the inning by throwing out Retz at second.

Frawley has now thrown out each of his last first, 17 of 31 this season and 28 of his last 53. (Note: High Point would successfully steal a base later in the game.)

Coastal wasted no time tying the game at 1-1 in the home half of the first. Jacob May line the first pitch he saw to the left-center field gap for a double. Alex Buccilli moved May to third with a ground out to second and Daniel Bowman, who had four of Coastal’s nine hits, plated May with an RBI single to left. Retz limited the damage with a strikeout and a line out.

In the third, the Panthers loaded the bases with one out thanks to a single and two walks. Devin Bujnovsky brought home Wilson with an infield single, keeping the bases loaded. After a strikeout, Conway got an apparent inning-ending ground ball, but an error allowed a run to score for a 3-1 Panther lead.

High Point added to its lead in the fourth, scoring once for a 4-1 advantage. With two out, Medina doubled and would score on a throwing error after an infield single by Rush.

After retiring 11 straight, Retz hit Justin Creel to start the home half of the fifth. Keith Picconi, getting his first start at third base this season, launched a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall. Picconi, playing in just his 13th game, hit his second home run of the season, which was just his third hit of the year. With two out Buccilli walked and Bowman singled. Retz looked to escape with an apparent inning-ending ground out, but a throwing error allowed Buccilli to score from second to tie the game at 4-4.

The Panthers took advantage of two CCU errors to regain the lead in the sixth, 5-4. Wilson started the inning reaching on a throwing error. After a sacrifice bunt, Rush would reach on a throwing error, allowing Wilson to score from second. Frawley once again limited the damage, picking Rush off first base, marking the seventh time Frawley has picked off a runner this season.

Coastal loaded the bases in the eighth with one out. However, a Frawley was retired at home on a bunt attempt and Jamie Schultz got a pop out to keep the score at 5-4.

The Chants, down to their last out in the ninth, got a triple from Bowman and Witten blooped a 1-2 pitch between the second baseman, right fielder and center fielder to bring home Bowman and force extra innings.

Coastal was able to tie the game thanks in part to an impressive relief performance by freshman Patrick Corbett. He pitched 3.2 scoreless  innings over the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. He only allowed one hit with no walks and struck out a career-high five.

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