Coastal Carolina used strong pitching from Andrew Beckwith and a four-run sixth inning to defeat Arizona 4-3 and win the decisive Game 3 of the College World Series. It’s the first championship in any sport for the Chanticleers.
In a surprising match-up of two upstart programs, Coastal Carolina surprised many with a thrilling run to the title. CCU dropped Game 1 of the series 3-0 but rebounded with a 5-4 win in Game 2, forcing the winner-take-all Game 3. After a rain out rescheduled the game for Thursday, Beckwith was sharp, pitching 5.2 inning while allowing only two runs. That was just enough support for the Chanticleers and their offense as Arizona scored three runs and came just 90 feet from forcing the game into extra innings in the bottom of the ninth.
With two outs and two on in the sixth, Zach Remillard reached first on an error by Wildcats’ second baseman Cody Ramer, allowing David Parrett to score from third. Ramer then threw the ball away on an attempt to get the Chanticleer’s Michael Paez as he slid into third. The errant throw allowed Parrett to score, putting his team up 2-0.
G.K. Young followed with a monster home run to deep right field, putting Coastal Carolina up 4-0.
Neither team was expected to make such a deep run. Arizona was expected to finish ninth in the 11-team Pac-12. Coastal Carolina, playing in the mid-major Big South Conference, also wasn’t expected to compete with traditional powerhouses. On top of that, both had to go on the road as early as the regional round. After advancing past their respective regionals, both programs were also underdogs in the Super Regionals. But Arizona won two games against national seed Mississippi state in Starkville, and advanced to Omaha. Coastal Carolina followed suit with an impressive pair of wins at nationally seeded LSU in Baton Rouge.
The win is especially meaningful for CCU. Despite nearly 20 years of success playing in the Big South conference, The Chanticleers had never even appeared in the College World Series prior to this season. Now, as the program prepares to move up to the more competitive Sun Belt Conference, the Chants take with them a national championship.