Burke’s arm, Willis’ bat help Coastal rally past Michigan

All-American relief pitcher Aaron Burke got Coastal Carolina out of huge jam in the first inning and Luke Willis, who went 3-for-3 with four RBI, sealed the game with a three-run double in the seventh as the Chanticleers (8-10) came back from a three-run deficit to defeat Michigan (8-8) 8-4 Friday afternoon in the second game of the Chanticleer Classic at Pelicans Ballpark.

Michigan took advantage of three CCU errors, three walks and a hit batter to score three runs in the top of the first. The damage could have been worse but Burke entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs. After a ground ball, which resulted in a CCU error and the Wolverine’s third run of the inning, Burke recorded a strikeout and a double play to limit the damage.

Although he did not figure in the decision, Burke scattered five hits over six scoreless innings. He did not allow a walk and struck out three.

The Chants got one of those runs back in the home half of the first. Ted Blackman and Jacob May had back-to-back singles and Blackman scored on Will Remillard’s RBI ground out.

Coastal scored three runs in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead. W. Remillard started the rally with a double and Coastal put runners on the corners when Justin Creel reached on an error. Tyler Chadwick drew a walk to load the bases. Zach Remillard plated his brother with an RBI fielder’s choice. Willis followed with an RBI infield single and Nick Oberg brought home Z. Remillard with an RBI ground out.

The Wolverines tied the game at 4-4 in the seventh. Travis Maezes hit a leadoff double, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Jacob Cronenworth’s RBI ground out.

Coastal responded with four runs in the home half of the seventh for an 8-4 lead. With the bases loaded and two outs, Remillard hit a slow roller to third which went for an infield hit and scored Alex Buccilli. With the bases still loaded, Luke Willis followed with a three-run double down the right field line.

Austin Kerr, who relieved Burke, was credited with the win to improve to 1-0. The sophomore pitched 2.1 innings allowing one hit, one run and two runs with two strikeouts. Ryan Connolly entered the game with two one and two out in the eighth and retired all four batters he faced over 1.1 innings to earn his third save of the season.

Michigan’s James Bourque (1-3) suffered the loss in relief, allowing two hits and one run with three walks and two strikeouts in his 1.1 innings.

Saturday’s matchups at the Chanticleer Classic will be the same as Friday with Akron and Quinnipiac squaring off at 11 am, followed by Coastal and Michigan at 3 pm.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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