CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Senior first baseman David Anderson hit a three-run home run in the first inning to stake Coastal Carolina to an early 3-0 lead over Kansas. Nick McCully took it from there.
The second seeded Chanticleers piled on the offense to top third seeded Kansas 11-3 in the opening game of the Chapel Hill Regional, but the three in the first were plenty for the junior righthander McCully.
Anderson’s home run came on a first pitch fastball from Jayhawks sophomore righthander T.J. Walz, a pitch Anderson launched well over the right center field wall for his 21st home run of the season and 50th of his career. The heavy hitting Chanticleers got production throughout their lineup. All nine starters reached base at least once and all but one scored at least one run.
"It was early in the game and I was going up there looking for a good pitch to hit early in the count," Anderson said of the home run. "Luckily, he thew it right down the middle and I put a good swing on it. I let it all do the rest."
Meanwhile, McCully attacked the Jayhawks hitters with his fastball early on and was able to keep them off balance enough as the game wore on. The junior wound up pitching 7 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on four hits, with four walks and four strikeouts.
"He’s the kind of guy, that if you’re going to get him, you have to get him early," Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore said. "After you get about once through the order and he starts to get a little tired, that breaking that he had no command of the first time through the order, he starts dumping it through the strike zone the second time. By the third time, he’s got pretty good command of it because he’s a little tired."
McCully gave up a pair home runs to Jayhawks leadoff man David Narodowski, but both were solo shots and an experienced pitcher like him had no problems shaking them off, not allowing any of the following hitters to reach base and build momentum.
Going deep in the game was crucial for McCully, a former reliever, who was able to save the Chanticleer bullpen for their likely matchup with top seed North Carolina, the team that ousted them in last year’s Super Regionals. The Tar Heels host No. 4 seed Dartmouth in tonight’s second game.
"(McCully) was able to to hold it together and get us to the point where we didn’t have to do much of anything with our bullpen," Gilmore said. "Our bullpen saved three or four key pieces, we only had to throw (Austin) Fleet out there for five pitches.
"He was huge."