Chants shut out High Point, take on Georgia Tech next

ccubase-beckwithAndrew Beckwith threw seven scoreless innings – walking none and tying a career-high with seven strikeouts – while Connor Owings accounted for three runs to lead #13 Coastal Carolina to a 4-0 victory against High Point – CCU’s first shutout of 2016 – Monday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The Chanticleers, winners in 24 of their last 28, improve to 31-11 overall and 13-2 in the Big South while tying Bryant for having the best record in NCAA Division I baseball for the month of April at 14-2.

Beckwith (7-1) was moved to a starting role for the game due to an injury to normal starter Tyler Poole. Beckwith, who started and got the win versus High Point in last year’s Big South Championship semifinal, scattered four hits Monday and saw his season ERA fall to 1.57. Beckwith’s seven strikeouts were a season high and matched his career best, set last season in 4.0 innings versus Radford.

Since suffering a loss to UNC Greensboro on Mar. 11, Beckwith is 6-0 with a save and has not allowed an earned run (four total) in his last 10 appearances (33.0 IP). In addition, the junior has only allowed 19 hits and four walks with 26 strikeouts during the span.

Owings kept his torrid pace going with a solo shot to right field to give Coastal a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The senior now has 11 home runs this season and eight in a 14-game span. He was officially 1-for-1 at the plate Monday with three walks and scored two other times.

The Chants added two runs in the fourth inning for a 3-0 lead. Zach Remillard reached on an infield single while Owings and Tyler Chadwick each drew walks to load the bases. Billy Cooke followed with a two-out single back up the middle to score Remillard and Owings.

In the fifth, High Point (26-15, 9-6) loaded the bases with one out, but Beckwith recorded a strikeout and got a fly out to escape unscathed. Then in the sixth, the Panthers put runners on the corners before Beckwith induced an inning-ending ground out.

Coastal pushed its advantage to four with a run in the sixth. Owings and Cooke walked to setup a two-out, RBI single by Seth Lancaster.

From that point, Beckwith worked a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts, Austin Kitchen retired all three batters he faced in the eighth with a strikeout and Mike Morrison recorded a pair of strikeouts in the ninth to close out the game.

Morrison, like Beckwith, has not allowed an earned run (one total) in his last 33.0 innings, spanning 17 appearances and 116 batters while posting a 4-0 record with five saves. Additionally, the senior has only allowed 12 hits and nine walks with 49 strikeouts in last 17 outings.

For the season, Morrison is has 0.48 ERA, 5-0 with five saves in 19 appearances. In 37.2 innings, he has 52 strikeouts – 35 swinging – and opponents are batting .142 off the right-hander.

Coastal Carolina will step out of league play for a three-game set at Georgia Tech this weekend (April 29-May 1) with all three games being broadcast on ESPN3. Game time Friday is set for 7 pm.  While Georgia Tech owns a 17-7 advantage in the all-time series, Coastal has won three straight – including two in Atlanta – and has won six of the last 11.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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