Friday nights have been very good to Coastal Carolina baseball so far. Despite committing three errors, the Chanticleers picked up their second win of the season beating Iowa 1-0 Friday night in their game one of the Baseball at the Beach Tournament. Tyler Herb got his second win in as many starts.
For now, I plan to start our look at the weekend games with the lineup. With so many newcomers, I think it will be interesting to see how Coach Gilmore tinkers with it trying to find the best arrangement. Of course that may change as the season grows and Gilmore figures out the pieces.
Other than Luke Willis in center field, the lineup was the same as last Friday. Willis started for Jacob May who is still out from an injury suffered during a collision in the Virginia game last Saturday.
In case you missed it last week, here are the Coastal starters:
1. Ted Blackman, LF
2. Luke Willis, CF
3. Rich Witten, 3B
4. Sloan Gilliam, 1B
5. Daniel Bowman, RF
6. Bryce Dial, DH
7. Tucker Frawley, C
8. Justin Creel, 2B
9. Bryan Pruett, SS
First baseman Sloan Gilliam led off the fourth inning with a double to left field. He moved to third on Daniel Bowman’s sacrifice bunt. Gilliam scored on Bryce Daniel’s RBI ground out to third. The Chants put another runner on base with a walk but a groundout ended the inning.
Defensive Changes and Mixing it Up:
Although he never had a big lead, Gilmore did make one defensive change. He started off the eighth inning by moving Witten back to first and brought in freshman Chris Suseck to play third.
Speaking of defense, I thought the Chanticleers looked sharper in the outfield tonight than they did last weekend. I know that probably doesn’t sound right since they committed three errors. Nevertheless, they didn’t give up and they seemed to stay a little more focused. They turned one double play and made a few great plays on balls that could have been hits.
It was Friday night and so far this season that means sophomore Tyler Herb starting on the hill. He went seven innings and gave up three hits and struck out four. He also gave up two walks. That’s two starts and two Ws. Not bad.
Freshman Austin Kerr started the eighth in relief. The LHP from Chester High School in Chester, SC gave up a hit and struck out one in two-thirds innings.
Junior Ryan Connolly, Bishop England High School in Charleston, SC came on with runners on second and third and two outs. The junior RHP ended the Hawkeye threat with a strikeout. Connolly came back in the ninth to close out the game with a ground out and two strikeouts for the save. I think the Chants have found their closer.
The Chanticleers are now 2-2 and play Virginia Tech at 1:00 p.m. Saturday at BB&T Coastal Field.