CCU answers late Wake-up call to beat Demon Deacons

Coastal Carolina scored two runs in the eighth and one in the ninth and Chanticleer senior Ryan Connolly tied a school and Big South record for career appearances by a pitcher in a 7-6 victory at Wake Forest Tuesday evening.

Coastal, winners in seven of its last nine, improve to 11-10, while the Demon Deacons drop to 12-11.

With the game tied in the top of the ninth, Tyler Chadwick reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a throwing error as part of a failed pickoff attempt. Chadwick took third on a Zach Remillard ground out. Justin Creel followed with an infield single, just beating the play at first, to drive in Chadwick for the game winner.

That is when Coastal turned to Connolly to close the game. He got a strikeout and a fly out before Evan Stephens reached on a bunt single. The Deacons made things interesting when Stephens, the tying run stole second, before Connolly struck out Mark Rhine to earn his fourth save of the season. The game marked Connolly’s 117th career appearance, tying him with Coastal’s Byron Binda (2002-05) for the CCU and Big South record.

While Connolly tied a record, Colin Hering was 3-for-5 with three RBI, Creel was 2-for-3 and Nick Oberg was 2-for-5 with a game-tying, two-run double in the eighth. Will Remillard was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.

Coastal Carolina leadoff hitter Luke Willis got the Chanticleers off to a good start, hitting the second pitch of the game down the left field line for a double. Two batters later, Hering fisted a single to center field to give CCU a 1-0 lead.

Wake Forest got that run back in the bottom of the first. Stephens had a leadoff single. Then with two outs, Charlie Morgan, Matt Conway and Jack Carey drew consecutive walks to force home Stephens. Tyler Herb bounced back to strikeout Andrew Williams to limit the damage.

The Deacons used a similar formula to add a run in the second inning for a 2-1 lead. Kevin Jordan hit a one-out double and Stephens walked. After a strikeout, Pat Blair and Morgan walked to load the bases. Jordan scored on a wild pitch and Wake would re-load the bases after a third walk in the inning before Aaron Burke came out of the Chanticleer bullpen to strikeout Matt Conway and end the inning.

Coastal responded with two in the third to take a 3-2 lead. Jacob May was hit by a pitch and took second on a wild pitch. Hering drove in his second run of the day, executing a hit-and-run. Remillard followed with a single. After a double steal, Chadwick plated Hering with an RBI ground out.

Wake Forest took advantage of a balk and an error to tie the game at 3-3 in the home half of the third. Carey was hit by a pitch but erased when Andrew Williams reached on a fielder’s choice. Williams took second on a balk. Brett Armour reached on a single up the middle. On the play, Coastal attempted to throw out Armour at first, but an errant throw allowed Williams to score the tying run.

The Chants regained the lead in the fifth as Hering hit the first pitch of the inning off the videoboard in right-center field for his first home run in a Coastal uniform.

The back and forth game continued in the bottom of the fifth. Armour reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a two-out triple by Jordan. Stephens followed with an RBI double to give the Demon Deacons a 5-4 lead.

Wake Forest padded its lead with a run in the seventh. Williams hit a leadoff double, moved to third on a bunt single by Armour and scored when pinch hitter Kevin Conway singled to center.

In the eighth, Coastal loaded the bases with three consecutive hits to start the frame – a double by Zach Remillard, a single by Justin Creel and a pinch hit bunt single by Anthony Marks. Oberg tied the game with a two-run double to left center field.  May was hit by a pitch to re-load the bases but Coastal could not capitalize – striking out and hitting into a 1-2-3 double play to keep the game tied.

Coastal freshman Seth Lamando (2-1) got the win. He did not allow a hit or a walk in 1.2 innings. Connor Kaden (0-1) took the loss, allowing three hits and one unearned run over two innings.

Coastal Carolina will return home to open Big South play this weekend. The Chants will host Gardner-Webb in a three-game set, including 6 pm Friday, 6 pm Saturday and 2 pm Sunday.

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