No. 19 Chants Down No. 25 Illinois, 11-3
Coastal Carolina baseball improves to 8-2 on the season with the win
Conway, S.C. – Following a weather delay that saw the start of the game moved back two hours to 7:30 p.m. ET, the No. 19 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers led from start to finish in an 11-3 win over No. 25 Illinois on a wet, damp and overcast Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The win snaps a two-game losing streak for the Chanticleers who improved to 8-2 on the season with the win. The loss was the first for Illinois on the year who falls to 6-1.
Starting pitcher Zach McCambley (2-0) had another strong outing on the mound, as the sophomore allowed just one run on three hits and no walks while striking out four over 5.0-complete innings to earn his second-straight victory.
Left-handed hurlers Austin Kitchen (3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 hits, K) and Dylan Gentry (1.0 IP, K) finished the final 4.0 innings of the contest in the win as the three Chants pitchers combined to strike out six and walk none for the game.
Kieton Rivers (1-for-1, HR, 2 BB, HBP, 3 RBIs, run, SB) and Keaton Weisz (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, run) provided the firepower for the Chants offense, as each hit a home run to left field, Rivers’ a three-run shot and Weisz’ a two-run dinger, to combine for six RBIs on the night.
Shortstop Scott McKeon (3-for-3, 2B, BB, run) stayed hot at the plate with three base hits, while Kyle Skeels (1-for-2, BB, RBI, 2 runs), Jared Johnson (0-for-1, BB, RBI), Cameron Pearcey (0-for-2, SF, RBI) and Nick Lucky (1-for-1, 2B, RBI) each had an RBI in the win. Lucky’s RBI double in the eighth was the first base hit and RBI of his CCU career.
Illinois starter Andy Fisher (1-1) was handed the loss, as the lefty gave up six runs, five of which were earned, on six hits, two walks and three strikeouts in 4.1 innings.
The Fighting Illini had seven base hits on the night highlighted by a solo home run from Zac Taylor (2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs, SB) and an RBI single by Cam McDonald (1-for-3, RBI).
Coastal scored first yet again on Friday night, as Cory Wood led off the game with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Pearcey to put the home team on top 1-0 after just one inning of play.
After a solo home run by Taylor for Illinois in the top of the second tied the game up at 1-1, the Chants retook the lead on a two-out RBI single up the middle from Skeels in the bottom of the third.
The Chants would score two runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run from Weisz, his third of the season, and two more in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk to Johnson and a sacrifice fly from Weisz to take a 6-1 lead into the sixth.
Illinois closed the gap to three at 6-3 with an RBI single and a balk with a runner on third base in the top of the sixth, before the Chants used a three-run home run from Rivers to push across four runs in the bottom half of the inning to pull out to a 10-3 lead with three innings to play.
Lucky added an RBI double off the 20-foot batter’s eye in center field in the bottom of the eighth to put the final score at 11-3 in favor of the Chants.
Coastal stranded nine runners on base for the game compared to the Illini’s five.
Coastal (8-2) will return to the field tomorrow to take on the UConn Huskies (4-3) at 5 p.m. ET.