Coastal works extra innings to knock off Keydets, 3-2

Jake Kane drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the 12th inning and Ryan Connolly picked off a pinch runner to end the game as Coastal Carolina handed VMI a 3-2 loss Friday evening at Gray-Minor Stadium.

The Chanticleers, winners in 10 of their last 13 games, improve to 14-11 overall and 3-1 in the Big South while the Keydets drop to 12-16, 3-4. The teams will conclude their three-game set with a Saturday doubleheader with first pitch set for 1 pm.

In the 12th inning, Ted Blackman, who had three of Coastal’s six hits, singled and took second on a Jacob May sacrifice bunt. Coastal would load the bases as Colin Hering was hit by a pitch and Will Remillard walked. While Remillard walked, he did have his hit streak snapped at 16 games Friday.¬† Kane followed with a walk to force in Blackman and keep the bases loaded. However, VMI turned to Andrew Mont ague out of the bullpen and he recorded a pop out and strikeout to keep the score 3-2.

Connolly (1-2) retired the first batter in the 12th before hitting Jordan Tarsovich with a pitch. Rob Dickerson reached on a reached on a fielder’s choice, retiring Tarsovich at second. The game looked to be over as Connolly got Cameron Walter to pop out, but a drop put runners on the corners. VMI sent in pinch runner Michael Donovan to run at first, but Connolly faked to third and Donovan was retired at second – Connolly to first baseman Connor Owings to shortstop Nick Oberg – for the final out of the game.

Connolly did hit two batters, but did not allow a hit or a run over his 2.2 innings, walking one and striking out one.

VMI jumped out to an early lead, scoring once in the first .Leadoff hitter Tarsovich started the home half with a triple and scored on Dickinson’s sacrifice fly to right field.

The Keydets used a sac fly in the fourth to add another run. Will Connerly drew a leadoff walk, Matt Win singled and Brandon Angus walked to load the bases with one out. Nick Dwyer drove in Connerly with a sac fly to center.

Coastal tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth. Blackman hit a double and Jacob May followed with a home run to left-center field, May’s third round-tripper of the season.

Chanticleer starter Ben Smith pitched 6.1 innings, scattering four hits and two runs with six walks and five strikeouts. Patrick Corbett was impressive in relief, allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts over three scoreless innings.

Connor Bach matched Smith, allowing four hits and two runs over 6.1 innings with four walks and three strikeouts. Reed Garrett (1-3) suffered the loss. He pitched five innings in relief, allowing two hits, one run and three walks.

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