Cunningham tames Lancers, takes Chants to win

Cunningham tames Lancers, takes Chants to win

Courtesy: CCU Media Relations

CONWAY – Both Coastal Carolina and Longwood starting pitchers were impressive – combining for 19 strikeouts with no walks in 13.2 innings, but the 23rd-ranked Chanticleers (22-7, 6-1) scored three runs in the eighth inning for a 5-1 win versus the Lancers (12-16, 3-7) in the opening contest of a three-game Big South series Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.

Coastal's Alex Cunningham (6-0 and CCU is 8-0 in Cunningham's eight starts) got off to a rocky start, allowing a run on three straight hits in the first inning. However he struck out the final two batters of the frame. Cunningham would go on to fan at least one batter in all seven innings and had two K's in five of his seven en route to a career-high 12 strikeouts. The 12 punch-outs were one shy of the school record (13 by Stephen Carter in 2004 and 13 by Ron Deubel in 1999) and the most by a Chanticleer since Ben Smith struck out 12 versus Gardner-Webb in 2013. Overall, Cunningham allowed six hits and the one run with zero walks.

Longwood's Aaron Myers nearly matched Cunningham pitch-for-pitch. The senior, who is two strikeouts shy of the school's all-time mark of 257, struck out nine in 6.2 innings. He allowed six hits, two runs and no walks but suffered the loss to drop to 3-5.

The top five batters in Coastal's lineup all scored. G.K. Young, Connor Owings and David Parrett picked up RBIs while the Chants also took advantage of three Longwood errors.

Coastal Carolina and Longwood will play game two of the series Friday at 7 pm. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.