Kerr pitches second straight complete-game shutout win

ccubase-kerrpitchFor the second consecutive outing, Coastal Carolina junior Austin Kerr pitched a complete-game shutout and struck out a career-high 11 to lead the Chanticleers to a 3-0 victory Saturday afternoon at J.H. Moss Stadium.

Coastal Carolina (22-22, 12-8 Big South) and Gardner-Webb (18-23, 8-11) will play the rubber match of the series on Sunday with first pitch set for 2 p.m. The Chants will be looking for their fifth straight conference series win.

Kerr (2-0) is the reigning Big South co-Pitcher of the Week after pitching a complete-game, two-hit shutout with a then career-high seven strikeouts last Friday versus Presbyterian.

In the win over the Bulldogs Saturday, Kerr scattered four hits (a double in the second, a single in the third, a single in the fifth and a two-out double in the ninth) and walked just one. Of his 11 strikeouts, two came in the ninth inning and he had at least one punch out in seven of the nine innings.

Gardner-Webb was only able to put the leadoff runner on base twice – a single in the fifth and Kerr’s lone walk to start the seventh. Both of those runners reached third, but, after a sacrifice bunt by GWU in the fifth, Kerr struck out the next two to get out of the inning. In the eighth, GWU also laid down a sacrifice bunt after the leadoff man reached, but Kerr got a ground out and fly out to eventually run his scoreless innings streak to 18.

Offensively, seven CCU starters had at least one hit with Connor Owings, Michael Paez and Colin Herring each collecting two.

As it did last night, Coastal scored first and it was again in the third inning. Steven Whitaker and Owings started the frame with back-to-back bunt singles. With two outs, G.K. Young was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Jake Kane followed with a two-run single to bring home Whitaker and Owings for a 2-0 lead.

After just missing a grand slam in the third, hitting a ball to the right field warning track, Hering just missed another round-tripper in the sixth but had to settle for a stand up triple as his blast bounced midway up the wall in right-center field. He later scored on a wild pitch to provide the 3-0 final.

Gardner-Webb starter Andrew Barnett (4-2) took the loss after allowing 10 hits and all three runs. Catcher Hunter Smith accounted for two of the Bulldogs’ four hits.

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