MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - College of Charleston (44-17) put up an impressive offensive effort in defeating Coastal Carolina (52-8) by a 16-6 margin in the first winner's bracket game of the Myrtle Beach Regional on Saturday, June 5 at BB&T Coastal Field. The Cougars will advance now to take on the winner of Sunday's 1 p.m. elimination game between Coastal and Stony Brook at 7 p.m.
The Chanticleers took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Scott Woodward doubled to left field and advanced to third on a single. Woodward scored on a sacrifice fly from Tommy La Stella.
The Cougars responded in the bottom of the first with seven runs. Charleston loaded the bases on three straight singles and scored two runs on back-to-back hit by pitches to sophomore 3B Matt Leeds (Boca Raton, Fla./American Heritage) and senior 1B Greg Blake (Westerly, R.I./Lake City CC). Sophomore LF Jose Rodriguez (Hialeah, Fla./Broward College) then gave the Cougars a 5-1 lead as he singled to left field off Chanticleer starter Anthony Meo, bringing in redshirt-sophomore C Rob Kral (Randolph, N.J./Randolph). Junior RF Baker Knox (San Mateo, Fla./Daytona Beach CC) and freshman DH Dre Watts (Laurens, S.C./Laurens) both reached on fielder's choices, scoring Leeds and Rodriguez. Junior SS Jamie Holler (Rock Hill, S.C./USC Sumter JC) ended the inning for the Cougars by hitting a two-run homer that gave the College of Charleston a comfy 7-1 lead.
In the top of the second, a walked Taylor Motter stole his away around the bases and was brought in by a Chance Gilmore grounder to center field, allowing the Chants to cut the Cougar lead 7-2, but that was all the damage that was done in the inning.
The Cougars kept building their lead in the bottom of the second as Leeds hit a two-run homer over the wall in right center giving them a 9-2 lead and giving Charleston their 100th home run of the year.
Woodward opened the third inning with a walk. He stole second, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jose Iglesias.
CofC added a two-spot in the bottom of the third as Watts singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, went to third on a Holler single and scored on a wild pitch. Meo was lifted for Chanticleer reliever Keith Hessler, who gave up an infield single down the third-base line by Kral, making it 11-3 Cougars.
For the fourth straight inning, the Chanticleers scored a single run in the inning with Rico Noel singling to left center and driven in on Woodward's double to left field.
Following the first scoreless inning for the Cougars, the Chanticleers narrowed the lead to five on Daniel Bowman's single up the middle. La Stella and Motter both scored to narrow the gap to 11-6 in the fifth inning. Due to lightning in the area, the game was delayed an hour and 37 minutes. After the delay, the Cougars called junior reliever Casey Lucchese (Lexington, Ky./Paul Lawrence Dunbar) to the mound to finish the top of the fifth inning without any further damage.
In the bottom of the sixth, College of Charleston added three more runs to go up 15-6. Rodriguez started the scoring with a single through the left side to plate Kral. A sacrifice fly from Knox scored Leeds. Senior 2B Joey Bergman (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) then drove in both Greg Blake and Rodriguez with his hit through the left side.
Junior PH Huston Dodds (Charleston, S.C./Porter Gaud) drove in the final run of the game for CofC with his one-out single in the eighth inning.
Meo (13-2) allowed 11 runs with 10 being earned in 2.2 innings of work. The sophomore came into the contest having only allowed 18 earned runs in 90 innings pitched this season. Lucchese (4-0) picked up the win with 4.2 innings of scoreless relief. The junior only allowed one hit and struck out five.