OMAHA, Neb. (WNCN) – Coastal Carolina capped a stunning run to the NCAA baseball title Thursday with a pulsating 4-3 win over Arizona in the final game.
The Chanticleers held a 4-3 lead when Arizona put runners on second and third base.
But Coastal reliever Alex Cunningham, facing a full count, got the Arizona batter, Ryan Haug, to swing and miss at a hard-thrown pitch. That set off jubilation from the Coastal Carolina side in an epic victory.
Andrew Beckwith, the winning pitcher, was named most outstanding player. He went 3-0 during the College World Series and finished the season at 15-1.
“It seems unbelievable,” Beckwith said. “Coach Gilmore deserves all of this.”
Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore has been at the school 21 years. He’s seen the team move from a run-down field to a nice stadium.
His previous best team went 55-10 in 2010 but the team lost in the Super Regionals.
G.K. Young, who grew up a Coastal Carolina fan and followed that 2010 team closely, only wanted to play for Chanticleers.
He slugged a two-run homer in the top of the sixth when they scored all four of their runs.
“This is the best feeling of my life,” Young said. “I’m trying not to cry right now. I’ve been thinking of dreaming of a home run in the College World Series since I was 10. And to do it in the championship game.”
The Chanticleers were down to their last strike in the Super Regional against N.C. State on June 7 but came back to win 7-5 to advance. Coastal Carolina went 6-0 when facing an elimination game during the tournament.
Coastal Carolina (55-18) became the first team since Minnesota in 1956 to win the title in its first CWS appearance. Arizona (49-24) was trying for its second national title since 2012.