Gem vs. Radford First In Tourney History…
LEXINGTON, Va. – Coastal Carolina’s Anthony Meo struck out nine batters in hurling the first no-hitter in Big South Tournament history as the top-seeded Chanticleers downed No. 6 seed Radford, 5-0, in Game 3 of the 2011 Big South Baseball Championship on Wednesday at Gray-Minor Stadium.
With the victory, Coastal Carolina improves to 38-18 and advances to play the loser of the No. 3 Charleston Southern-No. 4 Winthrop matchup on Thursday at 3:00 pm. Radford falls to 31-24 and moves to the loser’s bracket, and will face the loser of No. 2 Liberty-No. 5 Gardner-Webb, Thursday at 11:00 am.
Meo retired the first 16 Highlanders in order (six ground outs, six fly outs, four strikeouts), until Blake Sipe reached on an error by Coastal first baseman Rick Witten in the top of the sixth. Meo proceeded to strike out Zach Costello and Matt Hillsinger to end the frame. Meo then retired the next four batters before walking Matt Mack with two outs in the seventh. Mack moved to second on a passed ball, but Meo fanned Ryan Burgess to end any momentum.
“This was exciting and to do it in a tournament makes it more special,” Meo said “I really settled in through the middle innings and got in a great groove. I had good command today and my slider was really sharp. I am glad I was able to help our team out and keep out bullpen fresh.”
In the ninth, Meo got Costello to line out to left for the first out, and after Hillsinger reached on a two-base error in shallow left field, Meo struck out Brett Mollenhaur and induced Alex Guerra into a line out to center for the historical victory. Meo improves to 9-3 on the season and 3-0 in his three career Big South Tournament starts.
“This was one for the record books for sure,” said Chanticleer head coach Gary Gilmore. “Anthony and (coach) Drew (Thomas) had a great plan and Anthony really executed it. He was in total command. To see Anthony pitch like that with as many scouts that were here today and this close to the draft was really awesome.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning when Coastal Carolina broke through for two runs. Tripp Martin walked to start the inning and moved to second on Scott Woodward’s sacrifice. Witten was hit-by-pitch to put runners on first and second, and Tommy La Stella’s fielder’s choice grounder loaded the bases. Daniel Bowman then delivered the first pitch from new pitcher Brad Wimmer into left field for a two-RBI single that put the Chanticleers ahead, 2-0.
Martin put Coastal ahead 5-0 in the seventh with a three-run home run that hit the top of the light tower beyond the left field wall. It was his second home run of the season and drove in Hayes Orton and Tucker Frawley, who reached on a hit-by-pitch and single, respectively.
Radford starter Mark Peterson did not allow a hit in his three innings before leaving with an injury. Jacob Palese suffered the loss after giving up two runs in 2.1 innings of relief.
The victory marks Coastal’s fourth consecutive shutout of the Highlanders this season.