Radford leads Big South race after taking down No. 20 Coastal Carolina
CONWAY, S.C. -- Mitchell MacKeith (5-3) tossed 7.1 innings of four-hit baseball and gave up one run to lead Radford to a series win at No. 20 Coastal Carolina (27-12, 11-4), 7-1 in Sunday's series finale at Springs Brooks Stadium. With the win, RU (25-13, 12-3) moves into sole possession of first place in the Big South race, a game in front of the Chanticleers and Liberty.
After taking the lead with an unearned run in the top of the second set up by a Hunter Higgerson double, Higgerson again drove a two-run double into the left centerfield gap, and Aaron Scoville added a base hit that scored two more runs in a five-run third inning for the Highlanders. With a 6-0 lead, MacKeith settled in and didn't face more than four batters in any inning before leaving in the eighth. MacKeith walked three and struck out one earning his fifth win of the season. His defensive teammates turned three double plays to thwart any momentum by the Chants.
Coastal starter Shane Sawczak (1-3) lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed six runs after issuing four walks and two hits, both of them doubles by Higgerson. Six CCU pitchers appeared in the game. The Radford bullpen logged 1.2 scoreless innings from Daniel Bridgeman (0.2) and Miller Trevvett (1.0), with each recording a strikeout.
"If teams make mistakes, you have to capitalize on it, and we did that today," Radford head coach Joe Raccuia said. "They issued some walks, and we got a couple big swings from Higgerson and Scoville to break the game open. MacKeith gave us a really good start and forced them to put the ball in play. Our pitching staff competed and threw strikes. All-in-all, it was a good weekend."
With three consecutive singles from Josh Reavis, Patrick Marshall, and Danny Hrbek in the seventh, Radford pushed across its seventh run of the day with Hrbek driving in the run.
Radford has now won 18 of its past 21 games and 10 of its past 11 road contests.