The Coastal Carolina baseball team defeated the Long Island University-Brooklyn Blackbirds 16-1 in NCAA Conway Regional in front of a crowd of 3,736 people at Spring Brooks Stadium in Conway, SC.
Sophomore pitcher Anthony Veneziano pitched seven shutout innings and recorded six strikeouts, improving to 7-1 on the year.
Veneziano talked about Friday’s performance on the mound.
“I sat back and relaxed and was time to figure out where exactly throw the pitches,” said Veneziano. “After hitting the first batter and once I got through that, it was smooth sailing. “
After a scoreless first inning between the two sides, redshirt sophomore Keaton Weisz laid down a bunt and was able to get to second thanks to a throwing error by LIU. The error allowed Lee Sponsiller to come home and score the first run of the game. During the next at bat, senior catcher Matt Beaird brought home Parker Chavers thanks to a sacrifice bunt.
It was in the fourth and fifth innings that the Chanticleers opened the flood gates and poured on the runs. Coastal scored five runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, making it 12-0 in favor of the Chants.
An RBI single by sophomore Cory Wood began the first of the five-run innings. Senior Seth Lancaster notched his 20th home run of the season, making it 5-0 Coastal.
Junior outfielder Keiton Rivers had a career day, recording five RBIs - two of them in the fourth inning with a double to left field.
Rivers discussed his career performance and what it means to him.
“I remember back in 2016 watching those guys play in the regional and wanting to be part of this and I finally get an opportunity and this was a great experience,” said Rivers.
Rivers would come up big again in the next inning, jacking a three-run home run to left center field to make it 12-0 Coastal.
After an RBI single by Parker Chavers in the seventh, Kyle Skeels came to the plate as a pinch hitter - his first game back since April 22. If anyone thought he was rusty, Skeels proved them wrong immediately when he launched a three-run home run to left field to make it 16-0 to the Chanticleers.
The Blackbirds would get on the board in the 8th but sophomore pitcher Patrick Orlando struck out two batters and Anthony Simonelli came into pitch for Coastal in the ninth to close out the 16-1 win.
Head Coach Gary Gilmore gave his thoughts on the win.
Key of the game for me was Anthony (Veneziano) to go out there and give us the outing he gave us,” said Gilmore. “It was huge to go seven innings and put up zeros and no point of the game you thought he was in trouble. It took us about four innings to get to their starter (Clyne) who was outstanding at the beginning of the game and I thought Anthony was the difference. We put some swings on balls and created some offense, we did a little bit of small ball early and they mishandled a ball that created a spread early in the game and then Seth’s (Lancaster) homer allowed everyone to relax and started to chip away from that point in time.”
Coastal will now take on Washington at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 2 at Springs Brooks Stadium. The winner will advance to the Conway Regional Final on Sunday.