Radford rallies past CCU, series rubber match today

ccubase-paezDown 4-3 through seven-and-half innings, Radford scored a run in the eighth inning and a run in the ninth to complete a 5-4 come-from-behind victory versus Coastal Carolina on Saturday evening to even the weekend series. The rubber match between the Highlanders (18-15, 8-6 Big South) and Chanticleers (16-20, 7-7 Big South) will be Sunday at 2 pm.

With the game tied 4-4 in the ninth inning, Coastal Carolina’s Connor Owings, who was 5-for-5, delivered a leadoff single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before being stranded at second. In the bottom of the ninth, Chris Coia drew a one-out walk. After Coia stole second, the Chanticleers elected to intentionally walk Josh Gardiner. Tyler Poole struck out Aaron Scoville looking, but the two base runners stole third and second, respectively. With two out, Alexander Lee placed a 2-2 pitch into right center field to bring home Coia for the game winner.

Coastal struck first as Owings, who had two doubles and three singles for his first career five-hit game, hit the second pitch of the game to left center field for a double. He took third when Michael Paez struck out. On the play, the ball got away from RU catcher Josh Reavis, who chose to throw out Paez a first. Another errant pitch allowed Owings to score the game’s first run.

Radford tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third. Blake Sipe reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Scoville singled to right field to bring home Sipe for the tying run.

In the fourth, Coastal had a chance to regain the lead after loading the bases with no outs. However, Radford starting pitcher Tyler Costello got a pop out and a pair of ground outs to escape unscathed.

The Highlanders took advantage of a passed ball and error to take a 3-1 lead in the sixth. Scoville hit a leadoff single but was retired when Lee reached on fielder’s choice. Patrick Marshall followed with a single. A passed ball put the runners on second and third. CCU freshman pitcher Andrew Beckwith got Zach Woolcock to hit a ground ball, but an error allowed Lee and Marshall to score.

Coastal Carolina tied the game at 3-3 in seventh. Steven Whitaker walked and Owings lined a one-out double to right center field, moving Whitaker to third. Paez followed with a sacrifice fly to drive in Whitaker. Tyler Chadwick caught a break as his ground ball to first took a bad hop over the first baseman’s head, allowing Owings to score on the RBI single.

The Chants kept the momentum in the top of the eighth, scoring once to go up 4-3. Kyle Jackson lined a one-out triple to right center field. Pinch hitter Anthony Marks sent a 1-2 pitch back up the middle for an RBI single.

Radford tied the game in the home half of the eighth. With two outs, Hunter Higgerson lined the first pitch he saw over the left field fence for his sixth round-tripper of the year.

Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. Coastal’s Austin Kerr allowed seven hits and three runs in 5.1 innings while Costello allowed seven hits and three runs in 6.2 innings. Ryan Meisinger (4-0) earned the win, pitching the final 1.2 innings and allowing two hits with two strikeouts. Poole (1-3) suffered the loss, allowing two hits, two walks and two runs in 1.1 inning.

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