Asheville Ends Coastal Carolina’s 36-Game Big South Winning Streak

March 26, 2011
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Courtesy: UNC Asheville
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth pinch hitter Nick Collazo drew a walk to score the winning run to give UNC Asheville a 3-2 victory over defending Big South Conference champion Coastal Carolina on Saturday afternoon at Greenwood Field, as the Bulldogs snapped the Chanticleers 36-game conference winning streak.

“You kind of go with the matchup, a righty against a lefty and Nicholas (Collazo) has been swinging the bat pretty good for us lately and we thought we’d give him a crack at it,” said UNC Asheville skipper Tom Smith. “Our kids played a little puckered up yesterday. For us to come back today and compete and show a lot of heart, I was really proud of them.”

The win for the Blue & White also marked the first victory for the Bulldogs against Coastal since May 11, 2007, at McCormick Field. It was the first victory for the Bulldogs against the Chanticleers at Greenwood since the 1997 season.

Asheville improves to 7-14 and 2-3 in the Big South while the Chanticleers fall to 15-8 and 1-1 in conference play. Coastal’s last loss in the league was against Presbyterian College on April 25 of the 2009 season.

Senior pitcher Grier Harrington got the starting nod and pitched a gem for the Bulldogs. Harrington tossed eight complete innings and allowed only two runs on 10 hits with one walk and five strikeouts. However, Dillon Tabar (2-0) picked up the win in relief after facing only three batters in the top of the ninth.

Jordan Coons (1-2) was credited with the loss for Coastal after walking in the winning run.

UNC Asheville drew first blood in the game scoring a run on a Tommy Houmard single in the second. The Chanticleers were quick to answer scoring a run in the top of the third on a Scott Woodward ground out to tie the game at 1-1.

Asheville retook the lead in the sixth inning when Cody Buch drew a bases loaded walk to put the Bulldogs up 2-1. Coastal would respond with a run off of a Daniel Bowman single to center in the top of the eighth to tie the game at two runs apiece.

In the bottom of the ninth Ian Graham led the inning off with a single up the middle. Buch would strike out swinging for the first out followed by a Houmard single to advance Graham to second. Catlin Carter reached on a fielder’s choice for the second out as Houmard was retired as he headed toward second.

With runners on the corners the Chanticleers intentionally walked leadoff batter Jordan Lurie to load the bases. It was then that Smith sent the left-handed hitting Collazo to the plate to face the right-handed hurler Coons. Collazo looked at four consecutive balls to drive in the winning run and lift Asheville over Coastal.

The third and final game of the series is scheduled for tomorrow at Greenwood Field. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.


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