Coastal Carolina holds off Arizona rally to win College World Series
Coastal Carolina faced elimination five times in its first trip to the College World Series and twice more after getting to Omaha. The Chanticleers won each game en route to the school’s first national championship.
Capitalizing on a pair of crucial errors in Game 3 on Thursday, Coastal Carolina broke through for four runs against one of the best pitching staffs in the country en route to a 4–2 win over Arizona in Omaha.
With two outs in the sixth inning of a scoreless game, Wildcats infielder Cody Ramer misplayed a groundball, allowing one run to score, then threw errantly to third base, allowing a second run to cross. The Chanticleers' next batter, designated hitter G.K. Young, drilled a two-run home run to rightfield to open up a 4-0 lead.
Arizona got two unearned runs back in the sixth against Coastal Carolina starter Andrew Beckwith, a side-arming righthander who had already pitched two complete games in Omaha, including a 138-pitch outing on Friday. But reliever Bobby Holmes got out of the jam, and Chanticleers coach Gary Gilmore went to junior righty Alex Cunningham, with closer Mike Morrison unavailable after having started their 5-4 win in Game 2 on Tuesday.
Cunningham got a double play to snuff out a rally in the seventh and then pitched a 1-2-3 eighth. But in the ninth Arizona got a run on a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly, making the score 4-3. With two outs and a runner at first, Wildcats outfielder Ryan Aguilar hit a double to leftfield, but teammate Cody Ramer had to stop at third base. Cunningham then rebounded from a 2-0 count to strike out Arizona's Ryan Haug to end the game.
Coastal Carolina had an unexpected run to the national championship. The Chanticleers, the No. 2 seed in the Raleigh Regional, rallied after a 14-hour break in the ninth inning to beat host NC State in the final, then eliminated six-time national champion LSU in the Super Regionals. Once in Omaha, Coastal Carolina beat No. 1-ranked Florida and, after a loss to TCU, then won three elimination games to reach the best-of-three finals. The Chanticleers then dropped Game 1 to the five-time champion Wildcats, then won two more games to avoid elimination, becoming the first team to play the maximum 17 games in the NCAA tournament and ending its season as champions.