Coastal stumbles at Michigan

Coastal Carolina hit the ball well early, but had nothing to show for it, while Michigan scored twice in both the first and second innings to hold on for a 5-2 win Wednesday night at the Wilpon Complex in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The 29th-ranked Chanticleers fall to 33-15, while the Wolverines improve to 20-29.

After a 40-minute rain delay to start the game, Michigan’s bats were going early. Kevin White reached on an infield hit and moved to third on Michael O’Neill’s double down the left field line. Brett Winger drove in White with a sacrifice fly to left field. Coley Crank followed with an RBI single to left field for a 2-0 lead.

Michigan opened the second with three consecutive hits to extend its lead to 4-0. Will Drake singled to center and scored on John DiLaura’s double down the left field line. Dylan Delaney then singled through the right side to bring home DiLuara.

After relief pitchers Aaron Burke and Austin Kerr kept the Wolverines off the board for 4.2 innings, Michigan tally a fifth run with two out in the bottom of the seventh off Woody Nisbet. O’Neill drew a one-out walk and, two batters later, Crank doubled off the left field wall to plate O’Neill.

Coastal avoided the shutout bid in the ninth. Luke Willis started the frame with an infield single and moved to second on Jacob May’s walk. After a fielder’s choice put runners on first and third, Rich Witten doubled to score Willis and move Bowman to third. Alex Buccilli followed with an RBI single to left, bringing home Daniel Bowman to provide the 5-2 final.

Despite reaching on a fielder’s choice and scoring, Bowman had two streaks end in Wednesday’s loss. The senior went 0-for-4 to snap an 11-game hit streak and a 32-game streak of reaching base safely (by hit/walk or hit by pitch).  With his double Wednesday, Witten now has 47 for his career, moving into a tie for eighth on the CCU all-time list. Also, now with 134 career RBI, Witten has tied Rico Noel for 18th on the school’s career list.

Coastal starter Devin Bradley (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing six hits and four runs over 1.1 innings. Matt Ogden, who pitched five scoreless innings, got the win to improve to 3-3.

Coastal Carolina returns to action this weekend for a three-game set versus Winthrop. The series will be the final home games for the Chanticleers, with seniors Daniel Bowman, Tucker Frawley and Rich Witten being honored Sunday. Also, this will mark the final games in the present Watson Stadium as the facility will have be renovated for the 2013 season and ready for play in 2014.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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