2016 CWS: Senior Morrison Steps Up For Coastal
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Mike Morrison (Photo by Andrew Woolley)[/caption] OMAHA—As righthander Mike Morrison walked off the mound at TD Ameritrade Park in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday night, the fans behind the Coastal Carolina dugout, many of them clad in teal, rose to their feet. Morrison, typically the Chanticleers’ closer, had delivered the start Coastal needed, lifting a beleaguered pitching staff and giving his team a chance in Game 2 of the College World Series finals. As Morrison neared the first-base dugout, he tipped his cap to the cheering crowd. The senior exited with Coastal and Arizona tied at two, having given all he could in the final appearance of his college career. He threw 103 pitches over 6 2/3 innings, striking out 10 batters and scattering six hits and two walks. He set career highs in both strikeouts and innings pitched. At the time, no one knew that in the top of the next inning the Chanticleers would score three runs and cling to that lead through the game’s final six outs. Coastal held on for a 5-4 victory, sending the series to a decisive third game Wednesday night.
|GAME AT A GLANCE|
|Turning Point: Tied 2-2 in the eighth, the Chanticleers engineered a three-run rally that put them in position to win. Anthony Marks led off with a single and advanced on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on a single by Connor Owings. After a Zach Remillard double, G.K. Young singled down the right-field line to drive in two more. Coastal needed all three of those runs as Arizona responded with a two-run inning in the bottom half. The Hero: Coastal Carolina closer Mike Morrison had made just two career starts prior to Tuesday night, but their season on the line, the Chanticleers turned to the steady senior righthander. He delivered, setting a career-high with 6 2/3 innings and 10 strikeouts, allowing only two runs on six hits. While he didn’t earn a decision—the game was tied 2-2 when he left—Morrison provided much-needed length in his final collegiate appearance. You Might Have Missed: Arizona righthander Kevin Ginkel matched Morrison pitch for pitch Tuesday, allowing two runs (one earned) in seven innings and also striking out 10. He is the first pitcher to strike out 10 without issuing a walk in a CWS final since Oklahoma’s Mark Redman in 1994. Box Score Highlights|