Coastal, Charleston Southern, Liberty, PC, Radford Win Sunday


Rich Witten had two big hits Saturday, the second being a walk-off home run, to give Coastal Carolina a 3-2 win over VMI Sunday afternoon at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field before a national ESPNU telecast.

The Chanticleers (24-11, 7-2 Big South) get their first conference sweep of the season and run their winning streak to 16 straight victories over the Keydets (11-25, 4-11).

Witten's first big hit came in the sixth.  With two on and one out, VMI turned to Reed Garrett out of the bullpen.  Witten promptly hit the first pitch he saw to the left field wall for a two-run double, tying the game at 2-2.  Then, in the ninth, Witten led off the home half and launched a 2-1 pitch over the left-center field wall for his first home run of the season and 13th of his career.

While Witten was responsible for all three CCU runs, it was Chanticleer closer Ryan Connolly that kept the game tied at 2-2 in the eighth.  Connolly (2-1) entered the game with one out and bases loaded in the top of the eighth.  The junior struck out pinch hitter Brandon Diamond and got Michael Donovan to ground out to end the top half.  Connolly would strike out two of the three batters he faced in the ninth to set the stage for Witten's heroics.

Both starting pitchers faced early trouble, but VMI's Campbell Henkel kept Coastal off the scoreboard through five innings.

After throwing out Alex Buccilli at the plate to end the first inning, the Keydets took their first lead of the weekend, scoring once in the top of the second.  Jacob Morley drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on a Berkley Hawkins sacrifice bunt.  Two batters later, Cameron Walter lined an RBI single to left field.

VMI scored again in the third.  Rob Dickinson hit a one-out double and, with two outs, Eric Mayers reached on an error and Dickinson scored from second base.

Coastal tied the game at 2-2 in the sixth.  Jacob May, who had two hits in the game, had a leadoff single and Daniel Bowman put runners on first and second with a single to center. After May stole third, Witten delivered his two-run double.

Austin Wallace started for CCU and pitched five innings.  He only allowed three hits, two runs (one earned) and a walk with three strikeouts.  Aaron Burke pitched the next 2.1 innings, allowing two hits and a walk with a strikeout.  For VMI, Henkel allowed five hits and two runs over 5.1 innings.  Reed Garrett surrendered the one hit to Witten in the sixth inning over his 1.2 innings.  John Garrett (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing the Witten home run.

Coastal Carolina will hit the road for one game, traveling to Blacksburg, Va., to face ACC foe Virginia Tech on Tuesday (April 17).  First pitch is set for 5:30 pm.  VMI will return to action Wednesday, taking on James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va.  Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.

Right fielder Ryan Cordell had four hits, including two home runs, propelling the Liberty Flames to an 11-1 victory over the Winthrop Eagles in a Big South contest at the Winthrop Ballpark, Sunday.

Cordell's second and third home runs of the year were two of the right fielder's four hits in the contest.  It is the second time this season that the sophomore has collected four hits in a game.  Cordell also scored four runs.

Second baseman Bryan Aanderud had three hits and three RBIs for the Flames on the afternoon.  The second baseman leads the Flames with 39 RBIs this season.

Liberty improves to 9-3 in Big South Conference play and 30-9 overall.  With the win, Liberty takes two out of the three games in the series.  Head Coach Jim Toman's team matches the 1981 Liberty team by reaching 30 wins during a season the fastest in program history.  Winthrop falls to 5-7 in conference games and 12-25 overall.

Liberty took advantage of Winthrop starter Tyler Klitsch's wildness in the game's opening inning to plate a run.  Left fielder Ian Parmley drew a leadoff walk and moved to second base on a passed ball.  After advancing to third on a ground out by center fielder Andy Smith, Parmley scored on a wild pitch to give the Flames a 1-0 edge.

Liberty added to its lead with three runs in the second.  Catcher Trey Wimmer opened the inning with a single through the left side of the infield.  After Wimmer moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by third baseman Dalton Sype, shortstop Zack Haley was hit by pitch and Parmley walked to load the bases.  Smith then drove in the first run of the inning with a ground out.  Aanderud followed with a two-run single for a 4-0 advantage.

In the top of the third, Cordell opened the inning by pounding a Klitsch offering over the left field wall, chasing the Eagle right-hander and stretching the Liberty lead to 5-0.
The Flames tacked another run on the scoreboard in the fourth.  With one out, Smith ripped a liner inside the first base bag and down the right field line for a triple.  Aanderud followed with a liner off the wall in left field for a double and a 6-0 advantage.

Liberty sent all nine hitters to the plate in the fifth, scoring three more runs.  Cordell led off the frame with his second round tripper of the game, lining it over the left field to make it 7-0.

Two batters later, Sype doubled and moved to third on an infield single by Haley.  Parmley followed with a run-scoring single and Smith upped the Liberty lead to 9-0 with a sacrifice fly.

The Flames added another run in the sixth, giving the team at least one run in each of the first six innings.  A bases-loaded fielder's choice ground ball by Haley pushed across Wimmer, who had singled earlier in the frame, upping the Liberty advantage to 10-0.

In the bottom of the inning, Winthrop broke through against Liberty starting pitcher Carson Herndon.  The Eagles plated a run on a double play, making it 10-1, Flames.

Josh Richardson had a RBI single in the eighth for Liberty, as the Flames won 11-1.

Liberty's Herndon runs his record to 3-1 on the year.  The right-hander gave up one run on three hits.  He struck out one and walked three batters in six innings of work.  Shawn Clowers pitched the final three innings of the game to pick up his first save of the season.

Klitsch drops to 2-3 on the season.  He was roughed up for five runs on five hits during the first two innings.  He did not strike out a batter and walked three.

Liberty collected 16 hits in the contest.  It is the third time this season that the Flames have recorded 16 hits in a game.  Winthrop had five hits in the contest.

Liberty now travels to Athens, Ga., for a game with the Georgia Bulldogs, tomorrow afternoon.  First pitch at Foley Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.  The Eagles will return to action on Tuesday as they host The Citadel Bulldogs at 6 p.m.

The Presbyterian College baseball team clinched a Big South Conference series win against High Point on Sunday by downing the Panthers, 7-2.

PC improves to 16-21 on the year and 4-8 in Big South play.  High Point falls to 22-16 overall and 7-5 in league action.

Freshman lefthander Beau Dees turned in a sparkling outing, allowing only one run on four hits in seven innings of work.  Dees also struck out three.  Buck Mosteller pitched two innings of relief and allowed one run on two hits.

The Blue Hose received offense throughout the lineup, as Jay Lizanich and Kenny Bryant each tallied three hits.  Bryant and Robby Swab posted two RBI apiece while Gabe Grammer and Billy Motroni each added one.

Five runs in the final three innings helped PC secure the win.

PC drew first blood, scoring two in the second.  Lizanich led off the inning with a single and came home on a Motroni double to left field.  Bryant then brought the freshman around with a single to right field.  Two straight walks loaded the bases for the Blue Hose with two outs, but a groundout ended the inning with PC ahead, 2-0.

High Point took a run back in the fifth to cut the Blue Hose lead in half.  A pair of singles led to a fielder's choice that allowed Dane McDermott to score and put the Panthers on the board.

PC stranded three with the bases loaded in the sixth before striking again in the seventh.  Bryant saw 10 pitches and ran the count full before poking a single to right center, followed by a Nate Chong full-count walk.  A wild pitch moved the runners over and Swab cashed in, singling through the right side to plate the pair and extend the PC lead to 4-1.

The Blue Hose scored twice more in the eighth, thanks to a wild pitch that scored Lizanich and an RBI single from Bryant.  The visitors took a 6-1 lead into the ninth inning.

PC tacked on one more run in the ninth as Grammer lined the first pitch he saw back up the middle to score pinch runner John Wagner.  High Point began to mount a comeback by scoring one run in the third but Mosteller forced an 0-2 groundout to end the game.

A four-game homestand awaits the Blue Hose, beginning with a Wednesday afternoon matchup against NC Central. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.  The Panthers will kick off a six-game road swing on Tuesday where they will face the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels at Boshamer Stadium at 6:00pm.

Chase Shelton launched two home runs and Patrick Dolan (3-3) struck out six as Charleston Southern (14-24, 6-6) defeated Gardner-Webb (19-18, 4-8) Sunday afternoon 8-4 at CSU Ballpark.

Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the second inning, Shelton took a Beau Hilton (4-1) pitch deep and over the wall in right field to tie the game at one.  Later in the inning, the Bucs would take the lead 2-1 when Walt Quattlebaum scored on a wild pitch, after he singled to reach base, giving CSU a lead they would not squander.

The Buccaneers would stretch the lead to 3-1 in the bottom half of the third frame.  Jaren Sustar would be the one to start the inning this time with a single, one of his two hits in the ball game, and later scored on an Alex Tomasovich sacrifice fly to right field.

Scott Coleman doubled for the Runnin' Bulldogs to lead off their half of the sixth.  After Dolan retired the next two batters, Adam McFarland doubled down the right field line to score Coleman and cut the Buccaneer deficit to 3-2.

CSU wasted little time responding though as they recorded four straight singles to start the bottom of the sixth.  Shelton, Quattlebaum, Blake Hunt and Robbie Streett all singled and Thomas Levander drew a bases loaded walk that put the Bucs up 5-2.

Gardner-Webb again rallied to cut the Buccaneer deficit to one, this time with a little help from the defense.  With two outs in the top of the seventh, Henry Rundio was issued a walk by Dolan and then stole second.  GWU's Ryan Hodge would then swing and miss at strike three, reaching first on a passed ball, which moved Rundio to third.  Hodge then stole second, scoring with Henry Rundio on a Scott Johnson base hit that fell into right center field.

Charleston Southern would add the exclamation point in the seventh when Shelton deposited his second home run of the game into the trees in right center field for a three run homerun and an 8-4 Buc lead.

Hilton allowed three hits (all earned) on six hits in five innings while taking the loss for the Runnin' Bulldogs.

In picking up the win, Dolan allowed just three hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Bucs. He gave up four runs (two earned) and struck five.

Shelton led the CSU offensive barrage going 3-for-4 with four RBI on the day.  Sustar, Quattlebaum, Hunt and Streett each added two hits for the Bucs, while Coleman and McFarland added two hits each for GWU.

Charleston Southern will return to the baseball diamond on Tuesday evening as they travel to Clemson to face off with the Tigers.  First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.  Gardner-Webb will return home on Tuesday to host Western Carolina at John Henry Moss Stadium/Bill Masters Field.  First pitch is set for 6:00 pm.

Jeff Kemp went 3-for-5 with a homer and 5 RBIs to lead Radford to an 11-1 win over Fairleigh Dickinson and a series sweep on Sunday afternoon.

Matt Mack went 2-for-4 for the Highlanders (21-15) with two RBIs and Zach Costello scored four times.  The game lasted seven innings on account of a 10-run travel rule.

Mark Peterson went six innings to pick up his second win (2-1) of the season - he allowed a run on four hits and struck out six.

The Knights (15-17-1) scored in the first, taking a 1-0 lead for the second straight game.  With two outs, Ryan Kresky belted a double down the left field line and during the next at-bat Eric Anderson scored him with a RBI single through the right side.

The Highlanders responded in their half of the first by taking over the lead 3-1.  Costello scored on a two out hit from Mack to center field, but on the same play center fielder Riley Moonan could not glove the ball cleanly, allowing Matt Hillsinger to score from first.  Cory Turner struck out swinging in the next at-bat, but catcher JT Sherba's throw on the strike three pitch in the dirt sailed into right field allowing Mack to score from first.

Radford's luck with two out rallies continued into the second inning.  Costello reached based on a double followed by a Brett Mollenhauer walk before Kemp drove both runners in with a two-run double to left center, giving the Highlanders a 5-1 lead.

Radford continued the offensive onslaught in the fourth.  Costello was hit by a pitch for the second time, followed by a base hit from Mollenhauer to put runners at first and second.   On the next play, Kemp continued his series success with a three-run home, putting Radford up 8-1.  Hillsinger followed with his career-high seventh homer, driving the score to 9-1.

Kemp finished the series 6-for-12 with seven RBIs and two homers.

Mike Eliasen (5-2) took the loss for the Knights, pitching 3 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits, seven earned runs, a walk, and three strikeouts.

The Highlanders will be back in action on Wednesday night against East Tennessee State at 6 p.m. to wrap up their six-game homestand.