Chants deliver in the clutch for big victory over Clemson

In danger of suffering their third straight one-run loss against an ACC opponent, the Coastal Carolina baseball team instead came through in the clutch with a 10-7 victory at Clemson on Tuesday.

Trailing 7-6 entering the eighth inning, the Chanticleers (27-13) exploded for four runs in the frame and held on this time for a key non-conference win over the Tigers (24-18) at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Coastal pounded out 15 hits, with six of them coming in the key eighth inning. Daniel Bowman went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Tucker Frawley went 3-for-5 with three RBIs to lead the Chants’ comeback.

Bowman, who took sole possession of two more CCU records Tuesday, went 3-for-4 with a walk, two stolen bases and four runs scored. After Clemson scored its five runs in the sixth, Bowman quickly swung the momentum back in Coastal’s favor with a leadoff double in the seventh. Witten, who had three RBI over the seventh and eighth innings, was 2-for-4 with a walk, three RBI and two runs scored.

Frawley, who threw out a base runner, went 3-for-5 with three RBI. (NOTE: Frawley has now thrown out seven of his last eight base runners, 12 of his last 18 and 19 of 34 this season. Dating back to last season, April 5 at Clemson, he has thrown out 30 of his last 56.)

Clemson would threaten in the bottom of the ninth, getting a leadoff walk and single. However, Chanticleer freshman Ben Smith came out of the bullpen to record a strikeout, a fly out and a strikeout to earn his first career save.

Coastal Carolina jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. With one out, Ted Blackman singled and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Bowman. With the hit, Bowman took sole possession of the CCU all-time total bases record with 474. Alex Buccilli brought home Blackman with an RBI ground out.

The Tigers scored two in the in the third. After Garrett Boulware and Jason Stoltz drew leadoff walks and both would score. Steve Wilkerson moved the two up with a sacrifice bunt and Thomas Brittle plated Boulware with an RBI ground out. Ted Blackman nearly limited the damage to one run but the ball popped out of his glove on a diving play, giving Phil Pohl an RBI double.

Coastal got that run back and added another in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead. Bowman had an infield single – setting another CCU record in the process as it was his 881st career at bat. Witten walked and Frawley loaded the bases with a single to left. Sloan Gilliam got an easy RBI, drawing a bases loaded walk to force home Bowman. Witten then scored on a Justin Creel sacrifice fly to center field.

The Chants pushed their advantage to 5-2 in the fifth. Jacob May had a leadoff double. After a sacrifice bunt, Bowman and Buccilli walked to load the bases. After a strikeout, Frawley lined a 1-2 pitch to centerfield, driving in May and Bowman.

Four errors by Coastal in the sixth led to five runs by Clemson to give the Tigers a 7-5 lead. Pohl popped up to second, but a drop allowed him to reach. After a single by Jon McGibbon put runners on the corners, Spencer Kieboom singled to score McGibbon. Jay Baum grounded to first. However, a throwing error allowed Pohl to score and once again put runners on the corners. A throwing error on a pickoff attempt put runners on second and third and pinch hitter Mike Dunster walked to load the bases. Stolz grounded to the pitcher and Burke got the out at home. However, on the attempt to turn a double play, the throw hit Stolz, resulting in an error and a run. Wilkerson drove in the fourth run of the inning with a ground out with Brittle capping the scoring with an RBI single.

Coastal answered with a run in the seventh to make the score 7-6. Bowman had a leadoff double, his 50th career two-bagger, and Buccilli singled to put runners on third and first. Witten’s chopper up the middle got through to drive in Bowman. Coastal would put runners on second a third before Patrick Andrews got a strikeout, walk and strikeout to end the inning.

In the eighth, Coastal sent nine men to the plate, scoring four times to make the score 10-7. May was hit by a pitch and Blackman singled to center. On the play, May took third and the throw by Clemson was high, allowing May to score and Blackman to take third. After Bowman was hit by pitch and he stole second, Witten ripped a two-run double down the left field line. Frawley welcomed new pitcher Scott Firth with an RBI single.

Coastal starter Javier Reynoso pitched a career high, going five-plus innings. The freshman would have gotten at least one out in the sixth, had the pop fly to open the inning not been dropped. He would not factor in the decision, allowing four hits, five runs (two earned) and three walks with a strikeout. Aaron Burke tried to limit the damage, but had three errors behind him in the sixth. He would allow four hits, two runs (one earned) and two walks in 2.2 innings. Freshman Austin Kerr entered the game with one on and two out in the eighth and got a fly out to end the inning.

Patrick Andrews (1-3) suffered the loss. He allowed two hits and four runs over 1.1 innings.

Coastal Carolina will stay on the road for a key Big South showdown at Liberty. The three-game series is set for this Thursday at 7 pm, Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 2 pm.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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