June 3, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) – Tommy La Stella homered twice and Hayes Orton went 5-for-5 with three RBIs for Coastal Carolina as the Chanticleers knocked out Connecticut ace Matt Barnes and routed the Huskies 13-1 Friday afternoon in the first round of the Clemson Regional.
Coastal knocked out Barnes (11-4) in the fifth inning after tagging him with seven earned runs and nine hits. The UConn ace right-hander entered the game with a 1.12 ERA.
“It’s unreal the confidence you can take out of this game,” said Orton, whose two-run single up the middle against Barnes was the big blow in the Chanticleers’ four-run fifth.
Meanwhile, Coastal ace Anthony Meo (10-3) shut out the Huskies before giving up his first run in 16 2/3 innings and leaving in the seventh. The Chanticleers (42-18) will play the winner of Friday night’s Clemson-Sacred Heart matchup in Saturday’s winner’s bracket contest. The Huskies (41-18-1) will play the loser.
Coastal scored four runs off Barnes (11-4) in the fifth to take a 7-0 lead. La Stella homered to start the outburst and added his 13th homer in the ninth. Motter later doubled and scored on Orton’s two-run single.
“I thought my stuff today was pretty good,” said Barnes. “I didn’t make a pitch when I had to make it, and that really killed me.”
“He (Barnes) had great stuff,” Orton said, who had two doubles. “When he made a mistake, we hit it.”
Coastal tacked on three runs in each of the two last innings. Rich Witten and La Stella hit back-to-back homers for Coastal in the ninth. The Chanticleers finished with 18 hits against four UConn pitchers.
Tripp Martin’s drove in two runs in the fourth to give Coastal a 3-0 lead. Coastal took a 1-0 lead in the first without benefit of a hit.
When paired against UConn and a probable matchup against the 6-foot-4 Barnes, Coastal coach Gary Gilmore said his team was written off as a contender.
“This was a gut-check game,” Gilmore said.
LJ Mazzilli, son of former Major Leaguer Lee Mazzilli, led UConn with three hits and the Huskies’ lone RBI.
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