Coastal’s Herb shuts down Wolverines, whiffs 8 batters

Tucker Frawley had three hits and Alex Buccilli drove in three to lead Coastal Carolina (10-6) to a 7-3 decision over Michigan (7-10) Friday afternoon at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.

While Frawley and Buccilli were helping the offense, Chanticleer starter Tyler Herb (3-1) struck out  a career-high eight over 6.2 innings, while Aaron Burke picked up his first career save. Herb allowed four hits and three runs, all unearned, while walking two. Burke allowed one hit and hit a batter of the final two innings with a strikeout.

The Chants scratched the scoreboard first, scoring once in the fourth. Frawley and Ted Blackman had back-to-back hits, putting runners on third and first. Sloan Gilliam followed with a fly ball to center, which was deep enough to drive in Frawley for a sacrifice fly. The Chants tried to extended the lead, but Blackman was thrown out at home after a Jacob May single.

Coastal would extend its lead in the fifth, taking a 3-0 advantage. Daniel Bowman reached on a fielder’s choice to keep the inning alive by avoiding a double play. Buccilli followed with a walk and Frawley delivered his third hit of the day, driving in Bowman. Blackman then brought home Buccilli after lining an 0-2 fastball to right field.

In the sixth, Coastal once again used timely two-out hitting to score two times and go up 5-0. Brian Pruett started the home half by being hit by a pitch and he moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After an out, Rich Witten was hit by a pitch and Bowman walked to load the bases, chasing starter Brandon Sinnery (0-2). Buccilli welcomed Mike Dolloff, a freshman making his collegiate debut, with a two-run single to center field.

Michigan took advantage of two CCU errors to make it a 5-3 game in the top of the seventh. The first two batters, Brett Winger and Coley Crank each reached on Chanticleer errors. With one out, John DiLaura looped an RBI double down the right field line to score Winger. Pinch hitter Kevin White brought home Crank with an RBI ground out and Cole Martin followed with an RBI single.

Coastal manufactured a run in the bottom of the seventh. Gilliam singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a Pruett ground out. May fouled out to the left fielder, but Gilliam was able to tag and score on the play, giving CCU a 6-3 cushion.

In the eighth, Coastal added an insurance run to provide the 7-3 final. Witten led off by being hit by a pitch for the third time in the game, tying a CCU record. Bowman followed with a double, moving Witten to third. Buccilli plated Witten with a sacrifice fly to left.

May and Blackman each collected two hits for the Chants. Bridging the gap between Herb and Burke on the mound was freshman Austin Kerr, who walked one and got a ground out for the only two batters he faced.

For the Wolverines, DiLaura had two of his team’s five hits. Sinnery suffered the loss, allowing seven hits, five runs and four walks over 5.2 innings.

Coastal Carolina will host Connecticut and Michigan in a mixed doubleheader Saturday. The UConn contest is set for a 1 pm start. Michigan, who will host UAB Saturday at 11 am at Pelicans Park in Myrtle Beach, will come back to Conway to face CCU at 5 p.m.

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