No. 25 Chants claim series from Radford in BSC debut

Brian Pruett and Tucker Frawley each drove in two to lead No. 25 Coastal Carolina to a 5-3 win over Radford Sunday afternoon at RU Baseball Stadium to win the conference series. The Chants improve to 18-8, 2-1 in the Big South, while Radford falls to 15-13, 4-2.

Pruett was 2-for-2 with two walks and a un to go with his two RBI. Frawley was 3-for-5 to get his batting average to a team-best .352.

For the first time in the series, Radford scored first. Matt Mack drew a one-out walk in the second inning and stole second. Two batters later, Cory Turned hit an RBI double to bring home Mack.

Coastal used a similar formula to score in the third. Pruett came through with a one-out single and took second on a hit-and-run ground out. Rich Witten lined a double to center field to plate Pruett and tie the game at 1-1.

The Highlanders took advantage of two miscues to regain the lead. Zach Costello had a leadoff single and, after a walk, Jeff Kemp walked. Matt Hillsinger’s check swing ground ball came back to Ben Smith, who looked to third before throwing late to first to load the bases. Mack hit a ground ball to third with Chris Suseck making an impressive diving stop. However, his throw was errant to the plate, allowing two runs to score for a 3-1 advantage.

Coastal was able to answer back, taking a 4-3 lead in the fourth. Daniel Bowman started the frame with a double to left-center field and Frawley promptly followed with an RBI single to center. Jacob May made it three consecutive hits with a hot shot off the first baseman’s mitt into right field.  After a double play put Frawley on third, Suscek drew a walk and stole second. After scoring the tying run in the third, Pruett drove in the tying and go-ahead runs with a two-run single to left.

Bowman and Frawley produced again in the fifth. With two outs, Bowman laced a double down the left field line. Frawley followed with an RBI single to right field to put the Chants up 5-3.

CCU starter Ben Smith last 2.1 innings and allowed three hits, three runs (one earned) and three walks. Ryan Connolly (1-1) held the Highlands in check, allowing just one hit, over the next 2.2 innings to get the win. Devin Bradley and Austin Kerr bridged the gap to Aaron Burke, who worked the final 2.1 innings to earn his fourth save of the season.

For Radford, starter Mark Peterson only lasted one inning as Bowman lined a ball off Peterson’s left ankle, which ricocheted to the first baseman for the final out of the first inning. Keith Fritz (2-3) was saddled with the loss, allowing three hits and two runs over 1.1 innings.

Coastal Carolina will stay on its nine-game road swing to face The Citadel in Charleston Tuesday. First pitch at Riley Park is set for 6 pm.

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