May 3, 2008
ATLANTA – David Sappelt’s three-run home run highlighted a five-run second inning that helped No. 15 Coastal Carolina (38-10) even the weekend series against Georgia Tech (32-14) as the Chanticleers held off a Yellow Jacket comeback to win, 10-9, Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Sappelt added another home run, a solo shot, in the top of the fourth and finished the day 3-for-4 with three runs and four RBI to pace the Chanticleer’s offense on the day. Tommy Baldridge also had a team-high four hits for Coastal on the afternoon.
After breezing through the first inning, Yellow Jacket starter Eddie Burns ran into trouble with two outs in the second when Rico Noel hit a two-run single before Sappelt delivered his first home run of the game over the center field wall to give Coastal Carolina a 5-0 lead. Burns (5-4) suffered his fourth loss of the season and was lifted after giving up the five runs on five hits in two innings of work.
Coastal Carolina starter Cody Wheeler limited Tech to just one run on three hits while striking out five through his first 5.2 innings of work, but was tagged for five runs in the bottom of the sixth before being lifted for Nick McCully, who worked the next 2.1 innings. McCully held Tech to one run on just two hits while striking out four before a single by Jeff Rowland chased him from the game in the top of the ninth.
The Jackets scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on run-scoring hits by Chase Burnette and Luke Murton, but reliever Pete Andrelczyk forced Derek Dietrich to fly out for the second out the inning and struck out Tony Plagman to end the game.
A sacrifice bunt by Tyler Bortnick plated Baldridge in the third inning for the Chants’ sixth run of the contest before the Yellow Jackets cracked the scoreboard on a solo home run by Jason Haniger in the bottom of the frame, making the score 6-1.
Coastal Carolina answered with a run of its own when Sappelt hit his second homer of the game to push the Chanticleer’s lead back to six runs in the top of the fourth.
A two-out double by Murton started the Yellow Jacket comeback in the sixth inning, and the designated hitter scored Tech’s first run of the frame on an RBI double from Derek Dietrich. Brad Feltes then hit with his 12th home run of the season to pull Tech to within three runs, and Plagman followed with his team-leading 14th home run of the season, making the score 7-5. After a single by Thomas Nichols chased Wheeler from the game, Rowland recorded the Jackets’ sixth-straight two-out hit in the frame to move Nichols to third. As Rowland attempted to steal second base, McCully threw the ball into center field trying to pick off the Yellow Jacket center fielder, resulting in Nichols to score Tech’s sixth run of the game, but McCully struck out the hot-hitting Haniger to end the threat.
Home runs by Scott Woodward and Dock Doyle gave the Chants breathing room in the top of the eighth, making the score 10-6.
Tech and Coastal conclude the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. in a game that can be found on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv). WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org) will also carry the series finale, and live stats for all Yellow Jacket baseball games are available at Ramblinwreck.com.