OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Coastal Carolina’s Andrew Beckwith wasn’t going to volunteer to come out of Friday night’s game against TCU, and coach Gary Gilmore certainly wasn’t going to force him.
So the undrafted junior stayed in and pitched his second straight complete game and set a school record with his nation-leading 14th win, keeping Coastal Carolina alive in the College World Series with a 4-1 victory Friday night.
Coastal Carolina and TCU play another bracket final at 7 p.m Saturday, with the winner going to the best-of-three finals starting Monday. The game will be televised on ESPN.
“I think I would have had to hit him with a brick to get him out of the game,” Gilmore said. “I was trying to take him out in the eighth and he wouldn’t come out. I didn’t want to send him out in the ninth, and he was just not going to have any part of it. He’s a unique young man, and what he did tonight was incredible.”
The Chanticleers, in the CWS for the first time, forced a second Bracket 2 final Saturday night against a TCU team that’s in Omaha for the third straight year. The winner of the rematch will make its first appearance in the best-of-three finals beginning Monday.
Beckwith (14-1), who pitched his first complete game in a 2-1 win over No. 1 national seed Florida last Sunday, scattered six hits, walked one and struck out five in a 137-pitch outing.
The pitch count might seem high, and Gilmore said he was well aware of it. But the thing about Beckwith is that he doesn’t stress his arm as much because he throws submarine style and sidearm more than he delivers overhand.
“Outside of the physical toll on his back, that doesn’t put any strain on his arm at all,” Gilmore said. “I probably got whiplash looking at that pitch count. I don’t know that I ever let someone go that far. He kept telling me, ‘I’m fine, I’m fine.’ If he had gotten in any trouble in the ninth, we were going to move regardless.”
The Chanticleers (52-17) scored twice off Mitchell Traver (1-3) in the third inning, on Anthony Marks’ squeeze bunt single and a sacrifice fly. They added two runs in the seventh on a sacrifice fly and David Parrett’s ground-rule double.
Beckwith retired 13 straight batters over one stretch and held the Horned Frogs (49-17) scoreless until Dane Steinhagen homered with one out in the eighth.
Beckwith said he knew Gilmore was struggling with whether to let him continue.
“I knew I had a lot left,” he said. “Seventy-five percent of my pitches were sidearm, so that’s not really the toll I usually take on my arm to start. The next step was probably to yell at him, or hit him with a brick — no, I’m just messing. He trusts me, and I know he does, and I really thank him for letting me go back out there tonight.”
Beckwith got a big assist from his defense in the ninth inning. Shortstop Michael Paez cut off Luken Baker’s hard grounder to his right and got the lead runner at second to keep the Frogs from gaining momentum. Center fielder Billy Cooke slid on his backside catching Elliott Barzilli’s short fly to end the game.
“We know we’re a good offensive club, and it’s one of those days,” TCU’s Evan Skoug said. “We hit several baseballs hard right at people, especially when we had runners in scoring position. We’re not too fazed. This has happened before. We’re going to keep putting good swings on baseballs.”
Beckwith again disrupted the opposition with his variety of deliveries and ability to change speeds.
“We had some good swings on him, but we had some bad swings, too,” TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle said. “He had us off-balance. He’s to be credited for this whole deal.”
THEY KEEP ON GOING
The Chanticleers have won two straight since losing 6-1 to TCU on Tuesday and 18 of their last 20 overall. They improved to 29-0 when holding the opponent to three runs or fewer.
“I don’t’ think a whole lot of people here or in the country thought we belonged here, and that it was a fluke we got here,” Gilmore said. “I think these kids have more than proved that’s not right.”