Coastal’s season comes to close in Big South tourney

ccubase-32catcherslideCoastal Carolina isn’t used to its baseball season ending in May, or leaving the Big South Conference tournament without a trophy in hand.

But that’s how the 2014 season ended as No. 3 Campbell outlasted No. 6 Coastal Carolina in a 15-11 slugfest on Friday afternoon at The Winthrop Ballpark. With the win, the Camels improve to 36-19, while the Chanticleers end their season at 24-33.

Campbell plated three runs in the bottom of the first to take the 3-0 lead.  Steven Leonard singled through the left side to lead the inning off.  A sacrifice bunt by John Reilly moved Leonard up 90 feet.  Matt Nadolski followed with a single to center field to bring Leonard across.  The next batter, Matt Parrish executed a perfect hit and run to push Nadolski to third.  Nadolski scored on a double steal as the Coastal catcher threw it down but the CCU infield couldn’t get the ball back home to get Nadolski.  A passed ball put Parrish on third.  Two batters later, Seth LaRue connected on a single deep in the hole at shortstop to score Parrish.

The Camels tacked on a run in the bottom of the second to push their lead to 4-0.  With one out, Leonard reached on a single that carried just over the head of the CCU first baseman.  Reilly singled up the middle to put runners on first and second. Leonard came across as the Coastal Carolina second baseman sent an errant throw to first on a double-play attempt to get Nadolski at first.

Coastal Carolina cut the lead in half at 4-2 as the Chanticleers moved two runners across in the top of the third.  Colin Hering reached on a fielder’s choice as he beat out a potential inning-ending double-play.  Two batters later, Anthony Marks drew a walk.

Campbell answered in the bottom of the third with three runs to extend its lead to 7-2.  Albertson reached on an error, LaRue was hit by pitch and a bunt single by Elijah Trail loaded the bases.  Clayton Brown reached on a fielder’s choice at first as the Coastal Carolina first baseman sent an errant throw home to get the force that allowed Albertson and LaRue to score.  Trail moved to third and Brown got to second on the play.  Brooks Boarders scored Trail and pushed Brown to third as he reached on a throwing error by the Coastal Carolina third baseman.

Coastal Carolina scored three runs in the top of the fourth to cut the lead to 7-5.  Connor Owings led the inning off with a double and advanced to third on a fielding error.  Tyler Chawick brought Owings around with a single to left field.  Jake Kane singled to the right side to put runners on first and second.  A groundout by G.K. Young advanced Chadwick and Kane.  Reid Moman cleared the bases with a single to right center.

Campbell tacked on five runs in the bottom of the sixth to extend its lead to 12-5.  Reilly got things going with a single and stole second.  Parrish reached on an error by the CCU first baseman.  Albertson followed with a single to load the bases.  LaRue singled down the left field line to bring Reilly and Parrish across.  Albertson and LaRue advanced on the play at the plate.  Trail cleared the bases with a 345-foot three-run homer to left field.

Coastal Carolina cut the lead to one run as it scored six runs to make the score 12-11.  Kyle Jackson reached on an error to lead the inning off.  Marks followed with a single to put runners on first and second.  Paez posted a single down the left field line to plate Jackson and move Marks to third.  Paez stole second.  Owings cleared the bases with a double to right field.  Chadwick grounded out to move Owings to third.  A sacrifice fly by Jake Kane brought Owings home.  The next batter, Young doubled to center field.  A two hour and 11 minute rain delay halted play.  When the game got started back Moman stepped to the plate and ripped a ball to right field.  The Campbell right fielder slipped in while playing the ball that allowed the ball to get to the wall to plate Young and give Moman a triple.  Hering score Moman with a single.

The Camel bats got going in the bottom of the seventh with three runs to pick up the win, 15-11.  Leonard led the inning off with a single and moved to second on a Reilly sacrifice.  Nadolski singled to the left side to move Leonard to third.  Parrish followed with a ground ball that deflected off the Coastal Carolina pitcher to score Leonard and push Nadolski to third.  LaRue cleared the bases with a double to left center.  LaRue moved to third on the throw to the plate.

Ryan Koopman earned the win for Campbell to improve to 8-1.  Ryan Thompson earned the saves.  Cole Shaefer  took the loss on the mound for the Chanticleers and falls to 3-5.

Leonard led the way at the plate for Campbell with four hits, Owings and Moman recorded three hits for the Chants.  Campbell pounded out 17 hits as a team and Coastal Carolina notched 15 hits.

Campbell advances to play No. 4 High Point in Saturday’s semifinals.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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