Coastal sweeps Winthrop; No. 1 Tar Heels up next

Coastal Carolina (24-12, 10-2 Big South) won its ninth straight and swept its second straight conference opponent with a 4-3 win at Winthrop (12-25, 2-10 BSC) Sunday afternoon.

The Chanticleers have won all four conference series this season and have now won 10 straight, three-game league series dating back to May 13-15, 2011 when Winthrop took 2-for-3 from CCU.

Ted Blackman led the Chanticleer offense. The senior designated hitter was 2-for-4 with three RBI – including a game-tying, two-run home run in the fifth inning and a sacrifice fly in the sixth which proved to be the game winning RBI.

Ryan Connolly pitched the final 1.2 innings to earn his ninth save of the season. For the second time in the series, Connolly escaped a bases loaded jam to help secure the win. On Friday, Winthrop loaded the bases in the 11th inning with no outs and recorded three straight outs to give CCU a 3-2 win.

On Sunday with CCU leading 4-3, Connolly entered the game with one out and two runners on base. After striking out the first batter he face, Connolly hit Max Vogel to load the bases. Connolly got Austen Barber to fly out and end the threat. Connolly then retired all three batters faced in the ninth to end the contest.

Leighton Daniels got Winthrop on the board in the first inning as he hit a leadoff double and scored two batters later on Cody Dolan’s single.

The Eagles pushed their advantage to 2-0 in the third. Daniels and Jace Whitley had back-to-back hits. While Daniels was retired on a double play, Whitley would score after a wild pitch and a Matt Lobacz single.

Coastal scored three in the top of the fifth. Nick Oberg hit a leadoff single and Blackman followed with a two-run blast over the right-center field wall for his four round-tripper of the season and second of the weekend. Jake Kane walked, took second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a Jacob May sacrifice bunt. Will Remillard broke the tie with a sacrifice fly to left field.

The Chants pushed their advantage to 4-2 in the sixth. Colin Hering started the frame with his third hit of the game, stole second and moved to third on Nick Oberg’s single. Blackman plated Hering with a sacrifice fly to left field.

With one out in the eighth, Winthrop got consecutive hits from Cody Dolan, Lobacz and Clay Altman to cut its deficit to one. However, Connolly kept it a one-run game and eventually closed the contest to give CCU the sweep.

Aaron Burke (2-2) earned the win in relief. He pitched three scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out one. Tyler Poole started for the Chants. The redshirt freshman allowed seven hits and two runs over 4.0 innings with no walks and two strikeouts.

Tyler Klitsch (1-7) suffered the loss, allowing nine hits and four runs over 5.1 innings.

Coastal Carolina will return to action Tuesday, making its second trip to Chapel Hill this season to face the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels. The game will be on ESPN3 and first pitch is set for 6 pm.

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