Eagles, Strong push Chants to the verge of elimination

ccubase-26battingAfter a faulty sprinkler system gave Coastal Carolina another day off before facing Winthrop ace Josh Strong, the Chanticleers still didn’t have an answer for him.

Strong pitched a complete game to help No. 2 Winthrop pick up a 3-2 win over No. 6 Coastal Carolina at the Big South Baseball Championship on Thursday afternoon at The Winthrop Ballpark.

With the win, the Eagles improve to 26-32, while Coastal Carolina falls to 24-32 and is one loss away from seeing its season come to an end.

The Eagles took an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. Babe Thomas reached on a leadoff single and moved to second on a ground out. John Menken singled up the middle to drive in Thomas and advanced to second on the throw to the plate. Thomas, who moved to third on a wild pitch, scored when Clay Altman was caught in a rundown attempting to take second.

Coastal Carolina answered in the top of the third to tie the game at 2-2.  Kyle Jackson and Riley Norton posted back to back singles to lead the inning off.  Reid Moman hit into a double-play to put Jackson on third.  Anthony Marks drew a walk and stole second.  Michael Paez was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  Connor Owings drove in Jackson and Marks with a single through the right side.

Winthrop grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fourth as it scored one run to pick up the win, 3-2.  TJ Olesczuk led the inning off with a single that caromed off Coastal Carolina pitcher Austin Kerr.  Cody Dolan followed with a walk and Thomas singled to left field to load the bases.  A groundout by Altman to first base scored Olesczuk.

Strong posted a pair of strikeouts to push his record to 2-5.  Austin Kerr took the loss for Coastal Carolina and falls to 2-3 on the year.

Olesczuk paced the Eagle offense with a pair of his, while the Coastal Carolina team posted seven hits.

Winthrop advances to play the winner of game 10 45 minutes following game 11 on Saturday, May 24.  Coastal Carolina will now play No. 3 seed Campbell at 3 p.m. on Friday.

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