Coastal’s Connolly named Big South pitcher of week

Coastal Carolina senior Ryan Connolly was named the Crons Brand Big South Pitcher of the Week as he earned three saves and set CCU and Big South records for career appearances. This marks the first weekly conference honor for Connolly, who is on the “Stopper of the Year” Watch List.

For the week, Connolly posted a 0.00 ERA, allowed two hits, walked one, struck out five and had an opponent batting average of .182.

Connolly, also a preseason All-American, pitched three times this past week and earned a save in each game, helping Coastal post a 3-1 record. In the process, Connolly tied the both Coastal Carolina and Big South records for career appearances by a pitcher at Wake Forest then set the mark in Saturday’s Gardner-Webb contest. The Charleston native now has 119 career appearances with the previous school and conference mark being 117, set by Coastal Carolina’s Byron Binda from 2000-05.

At Wake Forest, Connolly worked the ninth inning. He allowed a two-out, bunt single, but struck out two in the inning, including the final batter of the game. In Saturday’s win over Gardner-Webb, Connolly retired all three batters faced, including a strikeout. In Sunday’s win, Connolly allowed a leadoff double before striking out two. However, he would hit a batter and walk a batter to load the bases before getting a game-ending ground out.

This season, Connolly was on the hook for two tough-luck losses, but still has great numbers. In 12 appearances, Connolly is 0-2 with six saves, 2.35 ERA, opponent batting average of .138, five walks and 20 strikeouts in 23.0 innings. Connolly has inherited 14 runners this season, allowing just one to score.

For his career, Connolly has pitched in 119 games (192.1 innings), is 8-5 with 20 saves. He has a 2.29 ERA with 51 walks and 159 strikeouts.

Connolly owns the CCU and Big South single-season record for appearances with 40 in 2010. He also led the Big South in appearances with 32 in 2011 and tied teammate Aaron Burke with Big South-best 35 appearances in 2012.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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