Rich Witten pounded out a two-run double down the left field line to give Coastal Carolina a 9-7 lead in the eighth inning at Clemson Tuesday night. He then scored on a Tucker Frawley single to cap a four-run inning and the Chanticleers held on to win 10-7. Coastal is now 27-13, while the Tigers dropped to 24-18.
This game was a seesaw contest with five lead changes beginning with the first inning and going right up to the aforementioned eighth. However, none was more dramatic than the sixth when Clemson scored five runs on four Coastal errors to take a 7-5 lead.
This was an important W for Coastal Carolina – for several reasons: First, anytime you go into DKS at Clemson and come out with a victory it is BIG; second, it was a come-from-behind win and those have been rare for the Chants this year; third, it was a mid-week win and those have been almost nonexistent; and fourth, the Chants got past the error bugaboo.
Senior leadership – Daniel Bowman (3-for-4, 2 SB, 4 runs), Rich Witten (2-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 runs) and Tucker Frawley (3-for-5, 3 RBI) were outstanding.
Something to build on – Clemson won last year’s contest by one run in the tenth inning and completely turned its season around. Here is a blog post I made at the Clemson Regional last year regarding the turnaround and how the Tigers needed the regular season win more than the Chanticleers.
Wouldn’t it be special if the Chanticleers were able to do the same?
Here is a video of Coastal Carolina Designated Hitter Alex Buccilli (.313, 3 HR, 20 RBI).
The short story on the Big South Conference standings is that nothing has changed. The longer story is that the frontrunners failed to capitalize on an opportunity for separation in the race for the regular season championship.
Here’s how the standings looked going into this weekend: Coastal Carolina 7-2 (.778); Liberty 9-3 (.750); Campbell 8-4 (.667); and Radford 6-3 (.667). High Point was next in line at 7-5 (.583).
Coastal Carolina lost to High Point 8-5 in 12 innings. The Chanticleer line score tells the whole story: 5-9-6. Any time you boot the ball more times than you score, it’s hard to win.
Liberty lost to UNC Asheville 7-6 in 13 innings. The Flames rallied for three runs to take the lead in the ninth inning but couldn’t hold it. A wild pitch in the bottom of the 13th led to a Bulldog run and the win.
Campbell and Radford each split their respective doubleheaders. The Fighting Camels won their first game 6-4 against VMI but lost game two 3-2 against the BSC last place Keydets.
The Highlanders also picked up a win in their first game by defeating Winthrop 7-1 but dropped game two 9-8 in 10 innings.
As a result, here are today’s standings: Coastal Carolina 7-3 (.700); Liberty 9-4 (.692); Campbell 9-5 (.643); Radford 7-4 (.636); and High Point 8-5 (.615).
There’s plenty of baseball left this weekend but the question still remains.
Click on the logo below to check out my Big South Conference Previews for this weekend.
Coastal Carolina senior 1B/3B/C Rich Witten and Liberty sophomore outfielder Ryan Cordell have been named the Big South Conference’s Co-Baseball Players of the Week.
Here’s a picture of Hard Hittin’ Witten just after the walk-off homer Sunday against VMI.
(ESPNU Photo shamelessly lifted off Stitch-Head’s blog)
In addition to the game-winning solo shot Sunday, Witten also had a two-run double as he accounted for all of the Chanticleer runs in the 3-2 win over the visiting Keydets. He batted .474 for the week and drove in six RBI and hit in all five games last week. Coastal went 4-1, including a sweep over VMI.
On Deck: Coastal travels to Blacksburg, Virginia Tuesday to face a hot Virginia Tech.
Coastal Carolina scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-2 lead over The Citadel Wednesday night and held on for a 6-2 win. Senior LF Daniel Bowman drove in two of those runs and tied the school record with 186 RBI.
Freshman LHP Ben Smith picked up the win in relief. He pitched 4 and two-thirds scoreless innings with three hits, two walks and four strikeouts.
On Deck: The Chanticleers host VMI for a three-game series beginning Friday with first pitch set for 6:00 p.m. at Watson Stadium/Vrooman Field. Saturday’s game is set for 3:30 while Sunday’s is at 2:00 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.