CLEMSON, S.C. -- Three-run sixth and seventh innings by the second seed and 16th-ranked Connecticut Huskies were too much for the third-seed and 21st-ranked Coastal Carolina to overcome as the Chanticleers fell 12-6.
The loss eliminates Coastal from the 2011 NCAA Clemson Regional and ends the Chants season with a final mark of 42-20. UConn improves to 43-18 and will now play top-seeded and Clemson in the Regional final at 7:00pm.
UConn took an early lead, scoring twice in the first. L.J. Mazzilli lined the first pitch of the game down the third-base line for a triple and scored on John Andreoli's RBI ground out. George Springer walked, moved to third on a Mike Nemeth single and scored on a passed ball.
The Huskies manufactured a run in the second. Billy Ferriter reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch. In the third, UConn loaded the bases on consecutive singles by Nemeth, Ryan Fuller and Nick Ahmed. Tim Martin made the score 4-0 with an RBI ground out to first.
The Chants trimmed their deficit to one, 4-3, with three runs in the third. Tripp Martin doubled and Coastal would load the bases after a Scott Woodward walk and Rich Witten being hit by a pitch. Martin would score on a wild pitch, Woodward on a Tommy La Stella sacrifice fly to right and Witten on a Daniel Bowman single to left-center field.
In the sixth, UConn used an error, single and walk to load the bases with two outs. Matt Laney came out of the CCU bullpen to walk Nemeth and force home a run. Then, Ryan Fuller welcomed Jordan Coons to the game with a two-run double down the left-field line fora 7-3 lead.
The Huskies extended their lead to 10-3 in the seventh. With one out, Martin reach on an error and Billy Ferriter reach on a single. Mazzilli followed with a two-run double and Andreoli put runners on the corners with an infield single. George Springer plated Mazzilli with a double to left center. An error on the play allowed Springer to advance to third which was the first error in Bowman's three-year career. The junior was perfect on his first 114 career chances before the miscue.
Coastal scored one in the eighth. La Stella and Bowman each walked with one out. La Stella would then take third and score on an error by the third baseman on Keith Hardwick's ground ball.
UConn took a 12-4 with two runs in the ninth. Andreoli started things off for the Huskies with a two out single followed by Springer walk. Nemeth then laced a single to centerfield that would be mishandled by Woodward allowing both runs to score.
In the bottom of the ninth, Coastal loaded the bases when Hayes Orton and Tucker Frawley were hit by pitches and Jacob May walked. Woodward plated Orton with an RBI ground out and Witten brought home pinch runner T.J. Young with an RBI single to left.
Ward (6-1) notched the win for UConn going eight complete innings. The lefty allowed four runs on six hits and struck out two. Josh Conway (8-2) suffered the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings of work.