Dalton Sype is greeted by first base coach Matt Hagen. Sype had three hits, Thursday.
The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers held off a ninth-inning Liberty Flames rally for a 5-3 victory, Thursday evening in the opening game of a three game Big South series at Worthington Stadium. The host Flames put the tying run aboard with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. However, the Chanticleer reliever Patrick Corbett retired the next two batters to seal the win for the visitors. Liberty drops to 10-6 in the Big South play and 33-13 overall. Coastal Carolina improves to 10-3 in conference action and 28-13 overall. Both teams got on the scoreboard with leadoff home runs. First baseman Alex Close opened the second inning with his ninth home run into the left field bullpen for a 1-0 Liberty. Only to see Coastal Carolina right field Daniel Bowman tied the game with his fifth home run of the season to begin the top of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Flames answered with two runs to take a 3-1 advantage. Designated hitter Tyler Cox singled and moved to third on a double by Close. When the ball was misplayed by Chanticleer left fielder Ted Blackman, Cox scored, putting Liberty in front, 2-1. Right fielder Danny Grauer followed with grounder to plate Close to make it, 3-1.
The Chanticleers struck for three runs in the sixth to take the lead. Center fielder Jacob May singled and Blackman walked to open the inning. After May was thrown out trying to steal third base, Bowman reached on an infield single to put runners at the corners with one out. Designated hitter Alex Bucilli singled to bring in a run, followed by third baseman Rich Witten lining a two-run double into the right field corner to give Coastal Carolina a 4-3 edge. In the top of the ninth, the Chanticleers added an insurance run. Catcher Tucker Frawley was hit by a pitch and moved to second on sacrifice bunt. After advancing to third on a single by second baseman Justin Creel, Frawley came home on a passed ball for what proved to be the final score of 5-3.
In the bottom of the inning, third baseman Dalton Sype singled back through the middle to open the frame, but was the frame's first out on a fielder's choice grounder by shortstop Zack Haley. Left fielder Ian Parmley followed with a single up the middle of the diamond to put the tying run on base. However, Corbett entered the contest and close out the Flames.
Liberty reliever Jared Lyons suffered the loss and drops to 1-3 on the year. The freshman left-hander gave up one run on two hits over 1 2/3 innings, striking out two batters.
Coastal Carolina's Aaron Burke moves to 6-3 on the season. He was the second of six Chanticleer pitchers in the contest, including three in the ninth. Burke pitched a scoreless 3 2/3 innings. He allowed two hits and walked one batter.
Liberty collected nine hits during the contest. Sype led all hitters in the game with three hits, while driving in a run. Coastal Carolina recorded seven hits, with Bowman collecting two.
The Flames left nine men on base in the contest, while the Chanticleers stranded five on the bases. Liberty and Coastal Carolina will meet again tomorrow evening at Worthington Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.