Chants knock off Michigan, UConn by identical scores

After beating Connecticut, 6-2, earlier Saturday, Coastal Carolina matched the score to defeat Michigan, 6-2, Saturday evening at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field.

The Chants, winners of five straight, improve to 12-6, while Michigan falls to 8-11.

Coastal Carolina will conclude the weekend’s festivities, hosting UAB at 1 pm Sunday. Michigan and Connecticut will square off Sunday at 11 am in Myrtle Beach.

Tucker Frawley led the Chanticleer offense by going 4-for-5 and he made one of the most important plays for CCU defensively in the second inning. With the game tied and runners on second and third with one out, Frawley picked off the runner at third before CCU starter Ben Smith induced a ground out to end the threat. Frawley has picked off three base runners this season and has thrown out 12 of 21 base stealers, throwing out six of his last seven.

After allowing the two runs, CCU pitchers would shut down the Wolverines, allowing no runs and three hits. Smith would not factor in the decision for the fourth straight start despite pitching a career-high 5.2 innings. Patrick Corbett (1-1) earned his first career win, pitching a scoreless inning while walking one and striking out one. Austin Kerr entered the game in the seventh with two on and two out, but an error extended the inning. Aaron Burke came out of the Chanticleer bullpen and got a strikeout to end the seventh. He would pitch the final 2.1 innings, allowing a hit and striking out three, to earn his second save.

Coastal Carolina’s first five batters reached safely in the first inning. However, Jacob May would be thrown out at third on a hit-and-run single by Justin Creel. The Chants would go on to load the bases thanks to two hit batters. Alex Buccilli’s slow roller to short would go down as an RBI single, giving CCU a 1-0 lead. A wild pitch plated Rich Witten, putting the Chants up 2-0, and chased Michigan starter Kolby Wood.

Michigan answered back with two runs in the second. With one out, Coley Crank reached on an infield single and moved to third on a double by Brett Winger. John Lorenz brought home Crank with an infield single, putting runners on the corners. Dylan Delaney followed with an RBI double to left-center field. The damage was limited thanks to Frawley.

Coastal regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Brian Pruett had a leadoff hit and moved to third on May’s single to center. After May was thrown out stealing second and Creel walked, Witten’s fly out to right field was deep enough to score Pruett, giving Coastal a 3-2 lead.

The Chants tacked on three runs in the bottom of the seventh to go up 6-2. Tucker Frawley singled then Sloan Gilliam and Ted Blackman walked to load the bases. Pruett drew the Chants’ third straight walk to force home Frawley.  May kept the bases loaded with an RBI single to right field. After a ground out, Witten drove in Pruett with an RBI ground out to provide the 6-2 final.

Alex Lakatos (0-2) suffered the loss. He pitched 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits, one run, two walks and struck out four.

In the early game, Josh Conway only allowed two hits over six innings and Alex Buccilli accounted for three runs to lead Coastal Carolina  to a 6-2 win over Connecticut (6-10).

Conway (2-1) only allowed three base runners as Billy Ferriter had a bunt single in the first and a single to center in the third, while L.J. Mazilli was hit by a pitch in the first. Ryan Connolly pitched the final three innings to get his fourth save of the season, allowing five hits and two runs with four strikeouts.

Coastal manufactured a run in the first inning, using Jacob May’s speed. The sophomore had a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third. Two pitches later, May scored on a wild pitch.

The Chants added another tally in the second. Buccilli was hit by a pitch to start the home half and Sloan Gilliam singled. Luke Willis was robbed of a hit thanks to a nice play by UConn first baseman Ryan Fuller, but Buccilli and Gilliam were able to advance. Bryan Pruett followed with an RBI single, plating Buccilli on the play.

Coastal took a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Buccilli doubled and took third on a wild pitch. After a walk to Frawley, Gilliam hit into a double play, but Buccilli was able to score.

The Huskies ended the shutout bid in the seventh as Mazzilli welcomed new CCU pitcher Ryan Connolly with a home run. Ryan Fuller followed with a triple, but was left stranded as Connolly got a fly out, strike out and, after hitting a batter, picked him off first, keeping the score 3-1.

Coastal got that run back and two additional more to take a 6-1 lead after eight complete. Jacob May had a leadoff single, but was erased on Justin Creel’s sacrifice bunt attempt. Creel would take second on a wild pitch and Rich Witten was hit by a pitch Daniel Bowman plated Creel with an RBI single to left-center field. Buccilli followed with an RBI single.

On the play at the plate attempt to throw out Witten, Buccilli took second. UConn tried to throw out Buccilli at second, but a collision between the Chant and Huskies’ shortstop Tom Verdi allowed Buccilli to reach and Bowman to score.

UConn would go away quietly in the ninth. Mazzilli hit a one-out double and, two batters later, Verdi hit an RBI double to provide the final score of 6-2.

For the Chants offensively, May, Bowman and Buccilli each had two hits. For the Huskies, Ferriter and Mazzilli had two hits apiece. Anthony Marzi (0-3) took the loss, allowing five hits and three runs over seven innings.

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