Chants let opener slip away in ninth against Highlanders

ccubase-owingsthrowRadford turned a ninth inning walk into a run to break a tie ballgame and held on for a 4-3 win over #18 Coastal Carolina Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The game started and hour and 18 minutes late due to rain and, with inclement weather in the weekend forecast, the teams are set to play a Saturday doubleheader with first pitch at 2 pm. Radford improves to 24-12 overall and 11-2 in the Big South while the Chanticleers fall to 26-11, 10-3.

In the ninth and the game tied 3-3, Hunter Higgerson drew a leadoff walk. Danny Hrbek, who was 3-for-4 on the night, tried twice to move the runner with a sacrifice bunt but fouled two off. However, Hrbek gathered himself and lined a single to right field to move Higgerson to third. Higgerson later scored on a wild pitch for what proved to be the winning run.

Ryan Meisinger worked a perfect ninth to seal the win and earn his ninth save. Daniel Bridgeman (4-2) was credited with the win in relief. He allowed one hit and one walk with a strikeout in 2.0 scoreless innings.

The Highlanders grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Josh Gardiner hit a leadoff double and, after two strikeouts, Patrick Marshall hit a two-run home run to right field. Marshall now has seven home runs this season.

Coastal used a similar formula to tie the game in the second inning. After G.K. Young was hit by a pitch to start the home half of the frame, Zach Remillard hit a two-run home run to center field. For Remillard, it marked his fifth round-tripper.

The Chants took advantage of a Highlander error to take a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Casey Schroeder hit a pop up between the pitcher and catcher. Due to miscommunication, the ball fell to the ground and Schroeder was safe at first. After a Jack Curtis moved Schroeder to second on a sacrifice bunt, Anthony Marks hit a sharp single off the pitcher’s foot that ricocheted between first and second. Schroeder was able to score all the way from second off the carom.

With three consecutive two-out singles in the top of the sixth, Radford knotted the game at 3-3. Patrick Marshall lined a single to center and Higgerson reached on a slow roller down the third base line. Hrbek followed with an RBI single to left, driving in Marshall.

Andrew Beckwith (3-2) suffered the loss. He allowed four hits and two runs with a career-high seven strikeouts in 4.0 innings.

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