Chants topple Highlanders, rubber match for first place

ccubase-7After allowing two singles to start the top of the ninth inning, Coastal Carolina freshman Bobby Holmes struck out the next three batters to earn his third save of the season and give the 18th-ranked Chanticleers a 3-2 win versus Radford Saturday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.

With the win, Coastal Carolina (27-11) and Radford (24-13) are tied for the Big South lead once again as each have won a game in the series and each have a 11-3 conference mark. The series finale is set for Sunday with the winner taking sole possession of first place. Due to the threat of rain, first pitch is now scheduled for Noon.

In the ninth, Brad Keen and Chris Coia, both facing a 1-2 count, guided singles to the outfield to start the frame. Holmes then ran the count full on back-to-back batters before recording strikeouts. On the second strikeout, Keen and Coia each stole bases to put runners on third and second. Holmes, who let the winning run score in the ninth on a wild pitch in game one of the series, closed Saturday’s game with a strikeout to preserve the win.

Mike Morrison (2-1) earned the win. He pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks with two strikeouts.

Offensively, Zach Remillard (2-for-3) accounted for all three runs as he scored the Chants’ first run and drove in the other two.

Radford drew first blood when, with two outs in the fourth inning, Josh Reavis singled off CCU pitcher Austin Kerr’s foot. Shane Johnsonbaugh followed with an RBI double to left-center field.

Coastal tied the game, 1-1, in the fifth. Remillard hit a leadoff single and Tyler Chadwick walked. David Parrett laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error allowed Remillard to score from second.

The Highlanders quickly got that run back as Hunter Higgerson hit the first pitch of the sixth inning over the left field wall for his third home run of the season.

The Chants answered with two runs in the home half of the sixth to take a 3-2 lead. Connor Owings drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a hit-and-run single by Michael Paez. Two batters later, Remillard hit a double down the left field line that plated both Owings and Paez.

Dylan Nelson (5-3) was saddled with the loss.

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