Feb. 9, 2003
Conway, S.C. -
Western Carolina's come-back bid fell short as Coastal Carolina held on for 4-3 decision to complete a two-game sweep Sunday afternoon at Charles Watson Stadium. The Chanticleers improve to 2-0, while the Catamounts fall to 0-2.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when Coastal's Jeff Baker launched a home run over the right field scoreboard to put the Chants on top, 1-0. CCU added another run in the fifth, when Brett Grandstrand laced a double to left field to drive in Mike Costanzo, who had led off the inning with a single.
Western Carolina got on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh, as Alan Beck's single drove in Rod Goldston and Chris Davis to tie the game at two. The Chanticleers came back with an opportune pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Catamount reliever Brian Barnes committed two throwing errors in the inning. The first was on on a sacrifice bunt by Brad Taylor and the final on a drive by Ryan McGraw to the mound that Hawk sent over first baseman Todd Buchanan's head, allowing Taylor and Chad Oxendine to score.
The Catamounts fought back in the eighth, as Clint Ramsey homered over the left field fence to cut the margin to one. Coastal stranded three in the bottom of the eighth to lead, 4-3, heading to the ninth inning. Western Carolina mounted a serious threat in the top of the ninth, putting two on with no outs, but reliever Byron Binda retired the next three batters, including a strikeout to end the game.
Binda got the win for the Chants, pitching 2 1/3 innings in releif and giving up just two hits while striking out three. Justin Sturge started for Coastal and pitched six innings of shutout ball, recording eight strikeouts while giving up just three hits in the no-decision. Barnes got the loss for the Catamounts, giving up two runs in two innings of work.
Goldston and Beck led the Catamounts on offense with two hits each.
Western Carolina will return to action versus High Point on Wednesday, Feb. 12, as the Catamounts play their first home game of 2003.