CONWAY, S.C. - VMI Keydet pitching held the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to just three runs for the second straight day, but Coastal's Tyler Herb pitched eight shutout innings to help the Chanticleers to a 3-0 win over the Keydets in Big South baseball action Saturday in Conway, S.C.
After Herb (6-2) and Coby Cowgill (5-2) had matched zeros for the first three and a half innings, Daniel Bowman walked to open the Chanticleer fourth. He then stole second, and after an infield hit by Rich Witten, Tucker Frawley singled to left field to plate Bowman, and put the home team up 1-0. Coastal would then go on to score additional runs in the fifth and sixth, taking a 3-0 lead as Herb and Ryan Connolly combined to allow just one baserunner over the final four innings.
Herb picked up the win for Coastal, allowing just four hits over his eight innings of work, while Cowgill took the loss after surrendering three runs over six innings. VMI's junior right-hander walked five and struck out five. Ryan Connolly picked up the save for the Chanticleers, his eighth.
The Keydets threatened in the first, as George Piccirilli drilled a one-out double down the left field line. Jacob Morley would follow, but on the first pitch to him, he lined a ball to shortstop Brian Pruett. Pruett was able to jump, snare the liner and flip to second to double off Piccirilli, ending the inning.
Coastal then put together a threat of its own in the bottom half, as Jacob May led off with a walk and stole second. Alex Buccilli then put down a bunt single, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Bowman then popped to short right, with neither runner able to advance, and Witten grounded into an inning-ending double play.
VMI managed a single baserunner in both the third and fourth innings, but could not score, while Coastal got a runner to third with two outs in the third, but he was stranded there as the contest remained scoreless. That set the stage for the go-ahead rally by the home team in the fourth.
After Frawley's single put two men on, Ted Blackman put down a sacrifice bunt. The next batter, Tripp Martin, hit a comebacker to Cowgill, who fielded the ball and flipped it home to Matt Winn. Witten was caught in the rundown and eventually tagged out by Cowgill, who then wheeled and threw a strike to second baseman Drew Bryan, retiring Martin, who had attempted to advance to second. The inning-ending, unconventional double play kept Coastal from scoring further in the frame.
Coastal then added a RBI single by Buccilli in the fifth, and another by Martin in the sixth to take a 3-0 advantage. That proved to be enough, as Herb allowed just a walk over his final three innings and Connolly worked a 1-2-3 ninth to end the contest.
Frawley led the Chanticleers by going 3 for 4 in their win, and is now 6 for 8 in the two games thus far. Nick Dwyer had two hits and a walk for VMI.
Keydet baseball will return to action Sunday, wrapping up the series with Coastal Carolina. First pitch is set for 2 p.m., and the game will televised on ESPNU.