COLUMBIA, S.C. – Jacob May scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and delivered a three-run home run in a six-run seventh Saturday as Coastal Carolina beat Manhattan, 11-1, in an elimination game at the Columbia Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Tyler Herb (9-2) pitched his first career complete game for Coastal Carolina, allowing two hits.
“I’m happy to be able to be here right now and know we get to show up tomorrow,” said Chanticleers coach Gary Gilmore, whose team lost to Clemson, 11-3, in Friday’s first round.
“Tyler did a fantastic job and Jacob got some big hits and ran the bases outstanding for us today,” Gilmore said. “We’ll see where it takes us.”
“We know it’s do-or-die right now,” May said. “So we’ve got to show up every game and every pitch.”
“I felt good from the start,” said Herb, who threw 114 pitches. “I was just trying to throw strikes.”
May, the son of former major-leaguer Lee May Jr. and grandson of ex-big-leaguer Lee May, had three hits and scored three runs.
He got the Chanticleers (42-18) started toward their winning rally with a single to open the sixth inning of a 1-1 tie.
“We really just wanted to respond (to Manhattan’s run in the top of the inning),” May said.
Daniel Bowman doubled to left field to move May to third. Rich Witten drove May in and moved Bowman over with a fly ball to center. That ended the day for Jaspers starting pitcher Scott McLennan (2-6). Alex Buccilli greeted Mike Giordano with a fly ball to deep center to drive in the Chanticleers’ third run.
Tripp Martin led off the Coastal Carolina seventh with a double and went to third on Brian Pruett’s bunt. After Ted Blackman drew a walk, May lofted a fly ball to right field that the wind kept carrying until it went over the fence for a three-run home run.
“There was a man on third, so I just tried to do my job and get the runner in. I knew a deep fly ball would score him. I had a little wind. That helped, too.”
The next four Chanticleers reached safely as Coastal tacked on three more runs in the inning.
Coastal Carolina scored two more runs in the eighth.
The Chanticleers broke on top in the bottom of the first inning. Blackman singled to right field, went to second on a balk and took third when May bunted toward the third-base side of the mount and McLennan slipped as he fielded it.
Bowman followed with a fly ball to center field to drive in Blackman.
The Jaspers (33-27) tied the score in the sixth. Nick Camastro worked Herb for a leadoff walk and stole second base. Kyle Murphy put down a perfectly placed bunt down the third-base line. Martin’s throw to first base was wild, allowing Camastro to score.
“We wanted to show that we’ve got a good solid conference and can play with the big boys,” said Manhattan coach Jim Duffy, whose team was held to four hits over two games. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get that done, but that doesn’t take away from how I feel about my team and about my kids and what they’ve done this year in the big picture.”
Coastal Carolina advances to a Noon game Sunday against the loser of the Clemson-South Carolina game played later Saturday afternoon.