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Coastal Carolina Rallies Past Liberty for 5-4 Win
Down 3-0, Coastal Carolina rallied to defeat the Liberty Flames, 5-4, in a Big South contest, Sunday afternoon at Watson Stadium.
Liberty falls to 5-4 in the Big South and 15-14 overall. Coastal Carolina moves to 4-2 in conference play and 18-10 overall.
Liberty jumped on the scoreboard in the first inning. Center fielder Ian Parmley led off with a single and stole second base. Two batters later, shortstop Matt Williams singled back through the middle of the infield, plating Parmley for a 1-0 lead.
The Flames added to their advantage in the second inning. Three consecutive singles by Liberty loaded the bases with one out. Parmley followed with a sharply hit single to center field to score right fielder Michael Robertson. Catcher Casey Rasmus then lifted a sacrifice fly to score second baseman Zack Haley, extending the Flames' edge to 3-0.
In the bottom of the frame, Coastal Carolina got on the Watson Stadium scoreboard, striking for a run with two outs. Designated hitter Keith Hardwick was hit by a pitch with two away and moved to third on a single by Tucker Frawley. First baseman Rich Whitten then singled to bring home Hardwick to make it, 3-1 Liberty. The Chanticleers threatened to add more by loading the bases, but Flames pitcher Steven Evans was able to strike out the next Coastal Carolina batter to strand the runners.
In the fifth inning, Liberty extended its advantage with a run. Parmley and Rasmus both walked to open the top half of the frame. Williams followed by ripping a single back through the middle of the infield, scoring Parmley for a 4-1 lead. However, the Flames may have added more in the inning, as two Liberty runners were thrown out at home plate trying to score. Rasmus was cut down trying to tally a run after a steal attempt by Williams, and Williams was thrown out by Chanticleer left fielder Jacob May on a single by left fielder Doug Bream.
Coastal Carolina knotted the contest with three runs in the seventh inning. With one out, third baseman Scott Woodward singled and advanced to second base when the next batter, center fielder Hayes Orton, was hit by a pitch. After a double steal, second baseman Tommy La Stella grounded sharply to first base to bring home Woodward with the first run of the frame. Right fielder Daniel Bowman followed by dropping a run-scoring double into center field to cut the Liberty lead to 4-3. Hardwick tied the game with a single to left field, evening the game at 4-4.
The Chanticleers went into the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one out, Whitten reached on an infield single. After stealing second base, Whitten moved to third base on a ground out by May. Woodward followed with a grounder to second base, which was mishandled, allowing Coastal Carolina to take its first lead of the day at 5-4. That held up as the final score for the second straight day.
Evans pitched the first seven innings for the Flames. The senior left-hander allowed four runs on nine hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter. Justin Richardson drops to 0-1. The reliever pitched the eighth inning.
Coastal Carolina reliever Matt Laney evens his record at 1-1 on the year. Laney pitched three scoreless innings, allowing one hit. The third Chanticleer pitcher on the afternoon, he struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Liberty had nine hits in the game. Parmley led the Flames with three hits, two runs scored and a RBI. Williams added two hits and drove in two runs. Coastal Carolina had 10 hits in the contest. Four Chanticleers had two hits apiece.
The Flames return home Wednesday for a non-conference game with the James Madison Dukes. First pitch at Worthington Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.