June 7, 2010

Courtesy of Coastal Carolina Athletics

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Coastal Carolina's baseball team (55-8) won a thrilling 11-10 winner-take-all 10-inning match-up over College Charleston (44-19) on Monday afternoon, June 7, at BB&T Coastal Field to advance into the Super Regionals for the second time in the last three seasons. CCU will take on South Carolina with game times and dates still to be determined tonight at 11 p.m.

Junior Cody Wheeler (12-0), who started and threw a complete game shutout on Friday afternoon, came out of the bullpen to throw three innings with four strikeouts to earn the win for Coastal. The loss went to College of Charleston's Heath Hembree (5-3), who allowed only a run on a wild pitch in 2.2 innings worked.

Coastal junior Rico Noel had three hits and scored a pair of runs for the Chanticleers. Redshirt-sophomore Rich Witten had four runs-batted in for CCU. Rakar had four hits, two home runs and six runs-batted-in to lead the College of Charleston effort.

CCU scored the game-winning run in the 10th inning when Witten was able to scamper home on a wild pitch. Witten began the inning with double, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored the game-winner with two outs and Hembree on the mound.

Coastal started the scoring off with two runs in the opening inning. Noel, who was the late-game hero last night and was named MVP of the tournament, tripled to right center with one out and came in to score on redshirt-sophomore Tommy LaStella's ground out. Senior Jose Iglesias then powered out his 16th home run of the season to left center to double the CCU advantage.

College of Charleston tied the game in their half of the first on Rakar's seventh home run of the year that also drove in senior Joey Bergman, who was hit by a pitch to start the game.

The Chanticleers wrestled the lead back with two runs in the third inning. Noel started the rally with a one-out single. He stole second and moved to third on fly out before Iglesias drove him in with a single through the right side. Iglesias came in to score himself on Taylor Motter's double to left field.

The Cougars scored four runs to take the lead in bottom of the frame. Rakar doubled down the left field line to plate junior Jamie Holler and Bergman. A walk by Rob Kral and a single by Matt Leeds loaded the bases. Rakar scampered home and untied the game on Jose Rodriguez's sacrifice fly. After a strike out, senior Justin Brewer pinch hit and delivered a run-scoring single through the right side to score Kral with CofC's fourth run of the inning and sixth of the game.

The lead changed hands again in the sixth on Witten's grand slam. Redshirt-senior Chance Gilmore and Motter started the rally with back-to-back walks to begin the inning. Sophomore Daniel Bowman loaded the bases with his bunt single to the shortstop. Witten followed with his fourth home run of the season to give Coastal the two-run advantage at 8-6.

The Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on back-to-back home runs from Rakar and Kral.

Coastal scored twice in the eighth to untie the game on LaStella's two-out double in the left center gap to score senior Adam Rice and Woodward. Rice began it all by getting hit by pitch. He moved to second as Woodward reached on a fielding error from the Cougars and both runners scored on LaStella's double.

Right on cue in the bottom of the eighth the Cougars tied the game again. Baker Knox singled and Holler doubled to start the frame. An RBI ground out from Bergman scored the first run and a sacrifice fly by Rakar scored the second to tie the game at 10 all.

With the game in the balance and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, CCU's Motter made a defensive gem at shortstop with a charge off-balance throw to nip Bergman on a stretch from Witten at first base to force extra innings.