From: Coastal Carolina Sports Information:
Anthony Meo struck out seven over 6.1 innings and Hayes Orton had a career-high five hits with three RBI, as third-seed and 21st-ranked Coastal Carolina took game one, 13-1, over second seed and 16th-ranked Connecticut of the NCAA Clemson Regional Friday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium
The pitching match-up, between Meo and UConn’s Matt Barnes, was highly anticipated with two potential first round draft picks in next week’s Major League Baseball amateur draft. Meo (10-3) came out on top in the battle, pitching 6.1 scoreless before giving up a run in the bottom of the seventh. Barnes (11-4) lasted 4.1 innings, allowing nine hits and seven runs with three walks and six strike outs.
Orton, was 5-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Taylor Motter was 3-for-5 and Tommy La Stella was 3-for-4 with three RBI, three runs scored and two home runs.
The Chants, who had a season-high 18 hits, jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first. Scott Woodward did what he does best, drawing a leadoff walk and stealing second. Rich Witten laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Woodward to third, and scored one batter later on La Stella’s sacrifice fly to right-center field.
Coastal avoided a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the second. After Mike Nemeth reach on an infield single and moved to second on an error, John Andreoli drew a one-out walk. After a strike out, Tim Martin walked to load the bases. However, Meo got Billy Ferriter to pop out to Witten.
After two strike outs by Barnes to start the fourth, Motter singled to left field and moved to second on Orton’s 13th bunt single of the season. Tucker Frawley was hit by a pitch to load the bases and freshman Tripp Martin hit a 2-2 pitch to left-center field to plate Motter and Orton for a 3-0 CCU advantage. Woodward walked to re-load the bases, but Barnes recorded a third strike out to limit the damage.
La Stella put Coastal up 4-0 in the fifth, hitting a leadoff home run. It was his 12th blast of the season and first since May 7, a span of 13 games. Daniel Bowman followed with a single and, after a strike out, Motter doubled to right-center to put runners on second and third. Orton singled past a drawn-in infield, driving home Bowman and Motter. Orton would then steal second and scored one pitch later on an RBI single up the middle by Frawley. All told, Coastal sent nine men to the plate, scoring four runs and taking a 7-0 lead.
UConn got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. Tim Martin doubled down the left-field line and, after a strike out, L.J. Mazzilli singled up the middle to plate Martin and end Meo’s day. The run was the first allowed by Meo in 16.1 innings, spanning three games.
Coastal added three runs in the eighth for a 10-1 lead. Witten had a leadoff double and La Stella followed with a single. Bowman laid down a sac bunt, but an error allowed him to reach and Witten score. Keith Hardwick dumped a single to right, plating La Stella and Orton capped the inning with an RBI double.
In the ninth, the Chants scored three more runs in the ninth. Witten and La Stella had back-to-back leadoff home runs – Coastal first back-to-back dingers of the season. Bowman followed with a triple and scored two batters later on Motter’s sac fly.
Coastal Carolina will play the winner of Clemson-Sacred Heart on Saturday at 7 pm.
NOTE: Coastal catcher Tucker Frawley was hit by three pitches, marking the first time a Chant has done that since Rico Noel versus Radford on April 11, 2009
(Gary Gilmore, Anthony Meo, Taylor Motter, Hayes Orton)