(photo courtesy of Coastal Carolina Athletics)
OMAHA, Neb. – Coastal Carolina finally made it to Omaha, and now has a shot to win it all.
Tyler Chadwick was a triple short of the cycle and scored twice as the Chanticleers outscored TCU 7-5 Saturday evening in the 2016 College World Series.
Coastal (53-17) will face Arizona in the CWS Championship Series. The best-of-three set will be played Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (if necessary).
“I want to congratulate my guys,” CCU head coach Gary Gilmore said. “They just amaze me every day I go out there. Every single day they find ways to win, and different groups of people.”
“It’s like I’m in a dream,” Gilmore added. “I’m scared to pinch myself, coming from where I started 21 years ago and where our university was that point and where we’re at today, to know that we’ve on this stage is one of the most incredible things I could have ever imagined. I don’t know if I’ve ever dreamt this far. I dreamt of getting to Omaha. I don’t know that i ever dreamt getting to this point.”
Chadwick went deep in the bottom of the second, his eighth long ball of the season, to give the Chants a 1-0 lead. He had a leadoff single and scored to spark a four-run fourth. Chadwick doubled in the fifth and flew out to center in the seventh in his final at-bat.
“I think we’ve kind of settled in and found what works and what doesn’t work,” Chadwick said. “The wind was blowing out today, which helps it a lot. But this park, it’s tough to get it out. So we know we’ve got to stay with more line drives.”
G.K. Young ripped a two-run triple off the glove of centerfielder Dane Steinhagen with two away in the third as CCU took a 3-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Elliott Barzilli delivered an RBI single as the Horned Frogs (49-18) made it a 3-1 contest.
The Chants blew it open in the bottom of the fourth. With two away, Anthony Marks and Zach Remillard had RBI singles and Connor Owings capped the rally with a two-run base hit a Coastal built a 7-1 lead.
“We just couldn’t get off the field in the middle innings,” TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “The one thing we did in the first two games was have the relievers come in and get the first guy out they faced. We didn’t execute fastballs pretty much the whole night. If you don’t command your fastball against a really good fastball-hitting team, you’re going to get beat up.”
Cam Warner singled and scored in the sixth, while Josh Watson and Steinhagen had hits and scored in the seventh as TCU narrowed the gap to 7-4.
The Horned Frogs kept the pressure on in the ninth. Steinhagen had a one-out double and came home on a base hit by Ryan Merrill to make it 7-5. Bobby Holmes was able to coax a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and give the win to CCU.
Marks went 3 for 4 with two runs and one RBI, while Owings finished with two hits and two RBI for the victors.
Steinhagen went 3 for 3 with a walk and two runs for TCU.
Alex Cunningham (10-4) earned the win, going 6.1 innings with eight hits, four runs, one walk and three strikeouts. Holmes worked the final 2.2 innings with three hits, one run and one punchout.