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Coastal Carolina Uses Seven-Run Fifth To Cruise Past UNLV, 12-8
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 06/03/2005
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June 3, 2005

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TEMPE, Ariz. - Coastal Carolina broke open a 3-3 tie with a seven-run fifth inning as the No. 1 seed Chanticleers opened the 2005 NCAA Tournament Tempe Regional with a 12-8 victory over No. 4 seed UNLV Friday afternoon at Winkles Field at Packard Stadium.

Coastal Carolina, the regular season Big South conference champions, improved to 49-14 overall and move on to play the winner of the Arizona State-East Carolina game tomorrow night at 7 p.m.. UNLV, the regular season and conference tournament Mountain West champions, drops to 34-28 on the season. The Rebels will meet the loser of the ASU-ECU game at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon in an elimination game.

CCU ace Ricky Shefka earned the win to improve to 12-2 on the season. The junior right-hander gave up six runs (five earned) and scattered 14 hits while striking out five and walking none.

UNLV starter Matt Luca was saddled with the loss giving up 10 hits and seven runs in four and a third innings of work. The junior right-hander struck out five and walked four to fall to 5-7 on the year.

CCU shortstop Aaron Verrett led the 19-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four RBI. He blasted a two-run home run and also added a run-scoring double and single in the contest. Left fielder Jon Foisy (4-for-5), third baseman Chris Todd (3-for-5, 2 RBI), All-American first baseman Mike Costanzo (2-for-6, 2 RBI), second baseman Michael DeJesus (2-for-5, RBI), right fielder Tommy Baldridge (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and catcher Josh Eachues (2-for-5, RBI) also added multi-hit performances.

UNLV nearly equaled Coastal Carolina in the hits column with 18. Shortstop Zeke Parraz (4-for-5, RBI) and first baseman Chris Bonnell (4-for-6, 2 RBI) each had four hits. Left fielder Matt Fry (3-for-5) added three hits as five Rebels recorded multi-hit games.

The Rebels took the early lead in the top of the third inning on a two-run home run from sophomore first baseman Chris Bonnell.

UNLV added another run in the top of the fourth to extend the lead to 3-0. Center fielder JC Sibley led off with a bloop double to right field, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and then scored on a sacrifice fly by shortstop Zeke Parraz.

Coastal Carolina tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Verrett hit a two-run home run to left field and third baseman Chris Todd plated the tying run with a single to center field.

The Chanticleers pulled ahead for good with a seven-run fifth inning to take a 10-3 lead. Verrett drove home the go-ahead run in the on a one-out double to the left field gap to score right fielder Tommy Baldridge from first base. CCU also added a run-scoring double from catcher Josh Eachues and a two-run single from Baldridge as the Chanticleers sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning.

Game Notes: Coastal Carolina starter Ricky Shefka hit only seven batters in 111.1 innings in the regular season, but hit three batters in a row in the third inning... CCU shortstop Aaron Verrett hit a two-run, game-tying home run in the bottom of the fourth inning... it was his fourth home run of the postseason (NCAA/Big South Tournament) after not hitting a homer in 56 regular season games... Coastal Carolina is one of six colleges from the state of South Carolina in the 64-team NCAA Tournament... the two teams combined for 20 runs and 37 hits in the game that lasted 3:15.

Coastal Carolina 12, UNLV 8 (Jun 03, 2005 at Tempe, Ariz.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
UNLV................ 002 101 202  -  8 18  2      (34-28)
Coastal Carolina.... 000 370 11X  - 12 19  2      (49-14)
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Pitchers: UNLV - LUCA; BROCK(5); NAVARRO Jr.,(6).
Coastal Carolina - SHEFKA, R.; VALTER, M.(7); COSTANZO, M.(9).
Win-SHEFKA, R.(12-2)  Save-COSTANZO, M.(14)  Loss-LUCA(5-7)  T-3:15  A-551
HR UNLV - CRUZ (5); BONNELL (8).
HR COASTAL - VERRETT, A. (4).
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