HIGH POINT, N.C. — Charleston Southern was on the verge of becoming the first No. 8 seed in history of the Big South baseball tournament to defeat a No. 1 seed. But late-game errors and timely hitting thwarted that plan.
Alex Tomasovich committed three errors in the ninth inning that helped set up Justin Creel’s game-winning single with the bases loaded as the Chants escaped the Bucs’ upset bid, 9-8, in the opening round on Tuesday.
Ted Blackman led off the ninth inning by reaching on a throwing error by Tomasovich. Jacob May followed with a single up the middle off CSU closer Corey Deighan to bring the potential winning run to the plate.
Daniel Bowman, the Big South player of the year, laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by catcher Drew Woodall, but he had no play and Bowman reached with a single to load the bases. After Deighan struck out Rich Witten, Alex Buccilli reached on Tomasovich’s second error of the inning, allowing Blackman to score on the play to cut the deficit to 8-7. Tucker Frawley then grounded to shortstop, but Tomasovich again couldn’t handle it, allowing Coastal (38-17) to tie the game and set up Creel, who lined a 2-2 pitch up the middle for the win.
John Faircloth went 3 for 5 with a pair of RBIs to lead Charleston Southern (20-35).
The Buccaneers will play Gardner-Webb today in an elimination game at 9:30 a.m.
In other Big South tournament action: Eddie Butler struck out 10 batters in eight innings and Josh Gardiner drove in two runs to lead No. 5 seed Radford past No. 4 Gardner-Webb, 8-2. Trey Wimmer had a season-high four RBIs and pitcher John Niggli allowed one run in seven innings to lead No. 3 Liberty to a 9-2 victory over No. 6 UNC Asheville.