Coastal stays alive, forces deciding game with Frogs

ccubase-marksbuntThe never-say-die Coastal Carolina baseball team did it again Friday night, knocking off TCU bu a 4-1 score to force a deciding game for a berth in the College World Series championship round.

Getting a second straight complete-game performance from starting pitcher Andrew Beckwith, the Chanticleers (52-17) avenged an early loss to the Horned Frogs to stave off elimination for the second consecutive evening in Omaha.

In his first 79 career pitching appearances, Andrew Beckwith had just nine starts and zero complete games. However, for the second time in five days at the NCAA College World Series, the junior started and threw a complete game to lead Coastal Carolina to a 4-1 victory over third-ranked TCU Friday night at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

The Chanticleers (52-17) are now tied with Florida for the most wins in the NCAA this season and will once again face TCU (49-17) on Saturday at 7 pm (CT)/8 pm (ET) on ESPN. The winner will advance to next week’s best of three national championship series versus the winner of the other bracket, featuring Oklahoma State and Arizona.

Beckwith, now 14-1, set a CCU record for wins in a season and he now leads the NCAA in pitching victories. Friday, the Blythewood native threw 137 pitches, including 101 for strikes, while allowing just six hits, one run and one walk with five strikeouts.

In two games at the College World Series, Beckwith has defeated #1 seed Florida and the third-ranked Horned Frogs. He has pitched 18 innings while allowing just 13 hits, two runs and one walk with 12 strikeouts.

Coastal only managed four hits – one each from Michael Paez, Anthony Marks, Tyler Chadwick and David Parrett – but took advantage of three walks, a hit by pitch and an error to score two runs in the third inning and two in the seventh.

TCU had runners on base in both the first and second innings, but it was Coastal that got on the scoreboard first in the top of the third. Billy Cooke drew a leadoff walk to start the third and moved to second on a Parrett sacrifice bunt. Paez followed with a single to left to put runners on the corners. Marks laid down a perfect bunt for an RBI single that scored Cooke. Zach Remillard loaded the bases when he reached on an error. Connor Owings plated Paez with a sacrifice fly to center field for a 2-0 lead.

After scoring its two runs in the third inning, the next 11 Chants were retired in a row until Kevin Woodall Jr., turned an 0-2 count into a walk with one out in the seventh. He advanced to third on a hit-and-run single by Chadwick. Cooke delivered a sacrifice fly to bring home Woodall while Chadwick took second on the play. Parrett continued his hot hitting with a ground rule double to left center field, bringing home Chadwick and giving CCU a 4-0 cushion.

After allowing a one-out double in the second (and that runner was later erased on a pickoff), Beckwith retired 17 of the next 18 batters he faced until giving up a one-out, solo run to Dane Steinhagen in the bottom of the eighth. Beckwith then surrendered an infield single before getting a ground out and fly out to end the frame and keep it a 4-1 lead.

Mitchell Traver (1-3) suffered the loss. He only allowed three hits in 6.1 innings, but was saddled with all four runs (three earned) with two walks and four strikeouts.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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