Courtesy: CCU Athletics
CHARLESTON – Anthony Marks drove in three runners and robbed a home run in the field to lead #20 Coastal Carolina to a 6-0 victory at Charleston Southern as well as helping the Chanticleers clinch their 16th Big South regular-season championship.
Coastal improves to 36-15 overall and 18-3 in the Big South. The Chants take a five-game lead into the final weekend of the season. The Chanticleers will host a pivotal non-conference game on Tuesday (6 pm) when they welcome region rival UNC Wilmington to Springs Brooks Stadium. CCU will then host Campbell, who is second in the Big South standings, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to close the regular season.
In addition to Marks going 2-for-4, Coastal was led offensively by G.K. Young, who was 3-for-5 and hit his 14th home run of the season to tie teammate Zach Remillard for the league lead, while Billy Cooke had two hits.
One the mound, Coastal starting pitcher Jason Bilous (1-1) earned his first collegiate win, pitched a career-high five innings and helped CCU to its second shutout of the season. The freshman worked his way into trouble in the second (two base runners), third (two base runners) and fourth (bases loaded) innings, but he escaped each time. He walked five and allowed four hits, but ultimately pitched five scoreless innings to get the win.
Bobby Holmes worked a 1-2-3 sixth and Freshman Austin Kitchen pitched the final three innings to earn his second save.
Coastal grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Young hit a leadoff single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a two-out RBI single by Seth Lancaster.
The Chants made it a 4-0 game with three runs in the fourth. Young started the frame by lining a home run down the right field line, his second blast in as many days. Tyler Chadwick followed with a walk and Cooke reached on a bunt single. After a sacrifice bunt by Seth Lancaster, Matt Beaird plated Chadwick with a sacrifice fly. Marks then delivered the team's second two-out RBI of the day with a seeing-eye single through the left side to score Cooke.
In the fourth, Marks came up big again to push CCU's advantage to 6-0. Coastal loaded the bases as Chadwick was hit by a pitch, Cooke had another bunt single and Beaird walked. Marks followed with two-run single back up the middle, scoring Chadwick and Cooke.