Manhattan Memorable Season Comes to Close at NCAA Tournament
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Manhattan baseball team's thrilling 2012 season came to a close Saturday falling 11-1 to Coastal Carolina (42-18) in the elimination game of the NCAA Tournament Columbia Regional at Carolina Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The two-time defending Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) champions enjoy a thrilling program record 60-game season that featured Manhattan (33-27) winning four games in three days to capture the MAAC crown. Head coach Jim Duffy kept up the winning tradition at Manhattan in his first year on the job guiding the Jaspers to the program's seventh straight 30-win campaign.
Chanticleers' starting pitcher Tyler Herb went the distance throwing a two-hitter with five strikeouts and no earned runs. The sophomore right-hander let up just three walks and improved to 9-2 on the year. The Chanticleers moved on to face the loser of Saturday's South Carolina-Clemson game in another elimination contest on Sunday.
Coastal Carolina took a one run lead in the bottom of the first inning on right fielder Daniel Bowman's sacrifice fly and never trailed in the contest. The Jaspers held close until the sixth inning, eventually tying the game at 1-1. Manhattan manufactured its run after a lead off walk to junior second baseman Nick Camastro. Camastro stole second and then scored after a junior first baseman Kyle Murphy's sacrifice bunt and throwing error by Chanticleers' third baseman Tripp Martin.
Sophomore starter Scott McClennan gave the Jaspers 5 1/3 strong innings in the first NCAA Tournament appearance of his young career. McClennan struck out two batters and did not give up a walk. Coastal Carolina scored a pair of runs that were credited to McClennan in the sixth inning breaking the 1-1 tie.
Sophomore centerfielder Jacob May got the Chanticleers going in the sixth inning with a lead off single just out of reach of diving Murphy at first base. Senior right fielder Daniel Bowman tacked on a double that put runners on second and third base with no one out setting up back-to-back sacrifice flies from Coastal Carolina senior first baseman Rich Witten and designated hitter Alex Buccilli making it a 3-1 ballgame.
Manhattan senior right-hander Mike Giordano came out of the bullpen getting three outs for the second straight day before May got a good swing on him with one out in the seven inning for a three-run homer. Giordano finished his career at Manhattan tied for fifth in program history with 22 career wins and he is third all-time with 65 career appearances.
Coastal Carolina tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning beginning with a RBI single from first baseman Rich Witten. Buccilli added a one-run double to right field and second baseman Justin Creel drove in the last run with Coastal Carolina's fourth sacrifice fly.
The Chanticleers scored their final two runs in the eighth inning. Freshman Adam Eggnatz and Witten went back-to-back with RBI singles.
Jaspers' freshman reliever Michael Scarinci got Manhattan two outs in relief, while senior left-hander Matt Jordan notched another. Manhattan sophomore reliever Jacob Marchus finished off the final two outs of the season.
This season marked the first time in program history that Manhattan played in the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years, as well as the Jaspers' second consecutive MAAC championship.