LEXINGTON, Va. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - Coastal Carolina's Anthony Meo struck out nine batters in hurling the first no-hitter in Big South Tournament history as the No. 1 seeded Chanticleers downed No. 6 seed Radford, 5-0, in Game 3 of the 2011 Royal Purple Big South Baseball Championship presented by Triangle Rent A Car, May 25 at Gray-Minor Stadium. With the victory, Coastal Carolina improves to 38-18 and advances to play the loser of No. 3 Charleston Southern-No. 4 Winthrop, Thursday at 3:00 pm. Radford falls to 31-24 and moves to the loser's bracket, and will face the loser of No. 2 Liberty-No. 5 Gardner-Webb, Thursday at 11:00 am.
Meo retired the first 16 Highlanders in order (six ground outs, six fly outs, four strikeouts), until Blake Sipe reached on an error by Coastal first baseman Rick Witten in the top of the sixth. Meo proceeded to strike out Zach Costello and Matt Hillsinger to end the frame. Meo then retired the next four batters before walking Matt Mack with two outs in the seventh. Mack moved to second on a passed ball, but Meo fanned Ryan Burgess to end any momentum.
In the ninth, Meo got Costello to line out to left for the first out, and after Hillsinger reached on a two-base error in shallow left field, Meo struck out Brett Mollenhaur and induced Alex Guerra into a line out to center for the historical victory. Meo improves to 9-3 on the season and 3-0 in his three career Big South Tournament starts.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning when Coastal Carolina broke through for two runs. Tripp Martin walked to start the inning and moved to second on Scott Woodward's sacrifice. Witten was hit-by-pitch to put runners on first and second, and Tommy La Stella's fielder's choice grounder loaded the bases. Daniel Bowman then delivered the first pitch from new pitcher Brad Wimmer into left field for a two-RBI single that put the Chanticleers ahead, 2-0.
Martin put Coastal ahead 5-0 in the seventh with a three-run home run that hit the top of the light tower beyond the left field wall. It was his second home run of the season and drove in Hayes Orton and Tucker Frawley, who reached on a hit-by-pitch and single, respectively.
Radford starter Mark Peterson did not allow a hit in his three innings before leaving with an injury. Jacob Palese suffered the loss after giving up two runs in 2.1 innings of relief.
The victory marks Coastal's fourth consecutive shutout of the Highlanders this season.
Coastal Carolina Head Coach Gary Gilmore
"This was one for the record books for sure. Anthony and (coach) Drew (Thomas) had a great plan and Anthony really executed it. He was in total command. To see Anthony pitch like that with as many scouts that were here today and this close to the draft was really awesome. Anthony has tinkered here and there a lot this year, but found a way today to put it all together.
"When our top three do not hit, we will struggle. Especially with the way we have played this year in tight situations, it was nice to see some other guys produce and win without those top three guys."
Coastal Carolina Pitcher Anthony Meo
"I had a no-hitter going in high school and gave up a hit with one out to go. Today, the defense made good plays on some well-hit balls. This was exciting, and to do it in a tournament makes it more special. I really settled in through the middle innings and got in a great groove. I had good command today and my slider was really sharp. I am glad I was able to help our team out and keep out bullpen fresh."
Radford Head Coach Joe Raccuia
"Meo was good, he was really, really good. He had command of the strike zone, he was electric and you've got to tip your cap. We just have to come to play tomorrow."