Monday, June 20, 2016

Chanticleers look comfortable on the big stage

Andrew Beckwith follows through on a pitch during Coastal Carolina's
2-1 win over Florida Sunday night in the College World Series. Beckwith

 threw his first career complete game.(Coastal Carolina photo)

More of the nation learned Sunday night what the state of South Carolina and Big South Conference teams have known for months:

Coastal Carolina is for real.

The Chanticleers rode a seven-hit complete game from Andrew Beckwith to a 2-1 victory over No. 1 Florida Sunday night in a first-round game of the College World Series in Omaha.

Coastaal Carolina (50-16) got timely hitting and excellent defense in support of Beckwith to advance to a second-round game vs. TCU on Tuesday night.

The Chanticleers won their CWS debut in spite of getting mixed results on a an umpires' video review of a third-inning play.  Anthony Marks had a one-out double and Connor Owings drew a two-out walk.

Zach Remillard followed with a fly ball down the right field line. Originally, the ball was ruled foul. TV replays indicated the ball had landed on the line -- making it a fair ball -- and Chants coach Gary Gilmore asked for a review. Fair-foul calls are one of the limited number of situations where video review is available.

After a lengthy review, the ball was ruled fair. Marks was allowed to score, but Owings was sent back to third, an erroneous decision in my opinion because Owings was running from the crack of the bat since there were two outs.

Florida escaped further damage in the inning and tied the score in the fifth.

Undaunted the Chanticleers scored the winning run in the sixth when Owings drew a leadoff walk and Remillard tripled.

That was enough of a lead for Beckwith, making just his eighth start in 24 appearances this season. The junior out of Blythewood High made his first 54 career appearances in relief before starting two postseason games to end the 2015 season.

The Chanticleers outhit Florida, 9-7, with Remillard, Marks and Michael Paez getting two hits apiece.

The 2016 team's 50 wins tie the 2005, 2007 and 2008 squad for the second-most in school history. Only the 55-win 2010 team won more.

Coastal Carolina joined Clemson (1958) and South Carolina (1975) as state teams who won their first-ever CWS appearance.

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