Chants battle to Final Four, earn second shot at Frogs

ccubase-txtechFacing elimination and the end of the 2016 season, Coastal Carolina claimed a 7-5 victory over #5 national seed Texas Tech Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha to advance and be among the final four teams at the NCAA College World Series.

Coastal will now have a rematch with TCU Friday (TCU beat CCU in the second round on Tuesday) and will have to beat the Horned Frogs twice in order to advance to the final best-of-three series for the national championship next week. The teams will square off Friday at 8 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.

En route to being the final four teams left in college baseball, the Chanticleers (51-17) have beat NCAA Raleigh Regional host North Carolina State, beat Super Regional host and #8 national seed LSU, beat #1 overall seed Florida in the opening round of the College World Series and now Texas Tech (47-20), who was the last remaining national left.

Senior catcher David Parrett led the Chanticleers at the plate offensively by going 2-for-4 with three RBI, while playing excellent behind the plate. Parrett entered the game with just nine hits and 10 RBI in 42 games played this season. Zach Remillard and Tyler Chadwick each added two hits while G.K. Young and Billy Cooke each scored a pair of runs.

Mike Morrison (8-1) earned the win as he pitched a season-high 4.1 innings and threw a career-high 83 pitches in relief. He allowed three hits, two runs and four walks with six strikeouts. Bobby Holmes worked the final 2.1 innings to earn his fourth save of the season. Homes allowed one hit, walked one and struck out two.

The seven runs scored by CCU were the most scored by one team in this year’s College World Series.

Coastal Carolina took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Cooke drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on an RBI single by Parrett.

In the home half of the second, the Red Raiders had a runner thrown out at the plate before scoring three runs on a double to take a 3-1 lead. With one out, Eric Gutierrez, Hunter Hargrove and Michael Davis had consecutive singles. However, on Davis’ hit, CCU shortstop Michael Paez dove and knocked down the ball to keep it just beyond the infield. Gutierrez tried to score from second, but Paez threw him out at the plate.  After the play, Tyler Floyd drew a walk to load the bases. Stephen Smith followed with a three-run double to the left center field gap to gain the advantage.

The Chants answered with three runs in the top of the third to regain a one-run lead. Remillard hit a one-out single and moved to third on a Connor Owings double. Young followed with a ground ball to third. Remillard broke toward home and the throw to the plate was errant allowing Remillard to score while Owings and Young ended up on third and second, respectively. Texas Tech turned to the bullpen and Kevin Woodall Jr. hit a bouncer between the first and second basemen that rolled into right field. It was ruled an error, but both Owings and Young were able to score and give Coastal a 4-3 lead.

Tech threatened in the bottom of the third. After a one-out double and walk, Coastal went to its bullpen. While Morrison walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, the All-American recorded back-to-back strikeouts to escape unscathed.

Coastal took advantage of Tech’s third error of the game to push its advantage to 7-3 in the fifth. With one out, Young reached on an error. Woodall and Cooke walked to load the bases. TTU brought in left-handed pitcher Parker Mushinski to face left-handed hitting Tyler Chadwick, who delivered a sacrifice fly. On the play, both Woodall and Cooke were able to advance 90 feet as well. Parrett then came through with his second big hit of the game as he ripped a two-run single to left center field to bring home both Woodall and Cooke. Parrett went on to steal second and third, but was stranded when CCU tried to attempt a double steal.

Texas Tech cut its deficit to two, 7-5, in the bottom of the seventh but that was as close as it would get. Tanner Gardner and Tylee Neslony walked before Gutierrez singled to load the bases with one out. Hunter Hargrove came through with a sacrifice fly to plate Gardner. Michael Davis followed with an RBI single to make the score 7-5. With runners on first and second, the Chants called on Holmes to get them out of a jam and he delivered by getting pinch hitter Ryan Long to strikeout. Holmes has now inherited 23 runners this season and only two have scored.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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