Conway, S.C. – Coastal Carolina senior first baseman Zach Biermann capped off his three home run night with a solo home run that sailed 420-feet over the right field wall in the bottom of the 10th inning to keep the Chanticleers alive with a 14-13 extra-inning win over No. 4 UT Arlington on Friday night at the 2019 Sun Belt Baseball Championships.
After UTA tied the game up with a grand slam with two outs in the top of the ninth and the Chants went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, Coastal’s Dylan Gentry pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 10th to turn the game over to the offense.
With two outs in the bottom of the frame, Biermann hit a 0-1 fastball over the right field wall to give the Chants a 14-13 walk-off, extra-inning win.
Biermann belted a career-high three home runs, tying the Sun Belt Championship Tournament record set back 2002, and also tied the Coastal record for the most home runs by a player in a single game since 1999.
The Chants’ five home runs tied the Sun Belt Tournament record last set back in 2010, as catcher Kyle Skeels blasted two home runs to go along with Biermann’s trio in the victory.
Biermann (4-for-6, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, 4 runs) and Skeels (3-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 2 runs) combined to drive in nine of the Chants’ 14 runs for the game, while fellow Chant Jake Wright (4-for-4, 2 2B, BB, 4 RBIs, 3 runs) reached base safely in all five of his at-bats and tallied four RBIs in front of the two big boppers.
UTA also recorded 17 hits led by lead-off hitter Connor Aube’s (5-for-5, 2B, BB, RBI, 4 runs) five base hits, while catcher Will Olson (2-for-4, GS, 2 BB, 5 RBIs, run) finished with five RBIs highlighted by his ninth-inning grand slam.
CCU’s Gentry (2-1) pitched 3.0 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and one strikeout, to pick up the win, while the loss fell to UTA’s Riley Bost (1-5) who gave up one run on two hits and three strikeouts over the final 2.1 innings of the game.
Freshman Garrett McDaniels was huge out of the bullpen for the Chants, as the left-handed hurler slowed down the UTA offense and kept the men in Teal in the game after entering the game down 7-2. He had a career-night, giving up just two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits, four walks and a career-high six strikeouts over a career-long 5.0 innings of work.
UTA stormed out of the gates in the top of the first inning, as the Mavs got a lead-off single and an RBI double from the first two batters of the game to take a 1-0 lead.
A wild pitch and a ground ball to second base scored the next run of the contest before a solo home run from Andrew Miller put the visiting Mavericks up 3-0 just five batters into the game.
Coastal used a long ball of its own in the bottom half of the inning to cut the UVA lead to one, as Biermann blasted a two-run home run over the right field wall to put the Chants down 3-2 through one inning of play. The home run was Biermann’s first of three on the day.
The Mavs’ hot bats continued in the top of the second inning, as the No. 4 seed registered three hits and took advantage of two Chant errors to score four runs in the frame and run out to a 7-2 lead.
UTA’s “big inning” was highlighted by an RBI single from both Aube and Anthony Dominguez, a ground out RBI to second base by Miller and a third RBI base hit from Olson.
The two teams traded RBI singles over their next respective at-bats to put the Mavs up 8-3 before UTA’s Ka’ikepono Anderson and CCU’s McDaniels settled down to halt the scoring for the next two innings.
After going down in order in the fourth and fifth innings, the Chants found its offense again in the bottom of the sixth as Wright lined a one-out single through the right side and then scored two batters later on a two-run home run to left field by Skeels to close the gap to three at 8-5.
CCU then picked up back-to-back singles from Parker Chavers and Scott McKeon, and a walk to Mike Koenig to load the bases and put the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs. However, UTA’s Will Divis picked up a strikeout to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
UTA took advantage of a two-out single, a CCU throwing error on a stolen base attempt, a favorable call on what appeared to be a third strike and then a dropped pop-up in the infield to score one unearned run in the top of the seventh to push its lead out to four at 9-5 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
The Chants offense exploded in the bottom of the seventh as Cory Wood led off the inning with a single to right field which was immediately followed by a walk to Kieton Rivers. Wright then lined a double to the left-center field gap to score both Chants and put Coastal down two at 9-7.
After Biermann singled to right, Skeels launched a 1-0 pitch deep into the night and out of Vrooman Field for a three-run shot to put the home team in front for the first time all night at 10-9. The home run was his second of the game.
The inning continued with back-to-back singles from McKeon and Koenig to put runners on first and third with one out. Morgan Hyde then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt down the first base line to score McKeon from third and put the Chants up by two at 11-9.
UTA looked to cut into the lead in the next half inning, putting two on base to start the inning before Gentry entered the game to get a strikeout and a double-play line out to Wood at second base to end the inning and keep the Chants in front by two.
Coastal added to its lead in the bottom half of the eighth on back-to-back doubles from Rivers and Wright and then another home run from Biermann to put the score at 13-9 with one inning to play.