RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Connor Owings drove in two runs and Coastal Carolina beat Saint Mary’s 5-2 on Friday in their NCAA Tournament opener.
Seth Lancaster added a run-scoring groundout for the second-seeded Chanticleers (45-15). The Big South Conference champions built a 5-1 lead after five innings for their 11th straight win.
Coastal Carolina will play the winner of Navy-N.C. State, and Saint Mary’s will face the loser in an elimination game, Saturday.
Anthony Gonsolin hit a solo homer in the first for the third-seeded Gaels (33-24) in the first NCAA Tournament game in school history.
Owings, the Big South player of the year, hit a two-run single in the third that put Coastal Carolina ahead to stay. Lancaster’s RBI groundout came an inning later. The Chanticleers added two more runs in the fifth on wild pitches by Corbin Burnes (9-2).
Nate Nolan added a run-scoring single in the sixth for Saint Mary’s, the West Coast Conference champs.
Andrew Beckwith (11-1) struck out three with one walk in 6 2-3 innings for Coastal Carolina.