Conway, S.C. – The Chanticleers scored nine runs over the first three innings to complete the doubleheader sweep over the No. 10-seeded ULM Warhawks on Saturday, defeating ULM 10-6 in the nightcap at Springs Brooks Stadium. With the win, Coastal Carolina moves on to the 2019 Sun Belt Baseball Championship title game on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
With their 10 runs in Saturday night’s win, Coastal has now scored a total of 71 runs in this year’s Sun Belt Championship Tournament blowing by the previous record of 61 runs set by FIU back in 2010’s conference tournament.
Parker Chavers’ home run in the first inning was the 15th long ball of the tournament for the Chants which is tied with the 2010 Troy team for the most by a single team in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.
With the win, the Chants improved to 34-24-1 overall and 11-0 all-time versus ULM.
Leading the way for the Chants in game two of the day was Cory Wood (3-for-4, 2 2B, BB, 3 RBIs, run) with a game-high three base hits, while four other players in Jake Wright (2-for-5, run), Kyle Skeels (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Chavers (2-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and Mike Koenig (2-for-2, 2 BB, RBI, run) all had two base hits.
The Warhawks had eight base hits on the night with six of those coming from the top four hitters in the lineup while all six runs were scored on three two-run home runs highlighted by two dingers from third baseman Chad Bell (2-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 runs).
Coastal’s Nick Parker (1-1) picked up the win, as the freshman allowed just two runs on three hits, one walk and four strikeouts over 4.0-complete innings.
The bullpen duo of Trevor Damron (3.0 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 7 K) and Jay Causey (2.0 IP, 4 K) stepped up in a big way, striking out 11 ULM hitters over the final 5.0 innings of the contest. Damron struck out five-straight batters over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, while Causey closed out the game with four-consecutive punch-outs.
The CCU trio struck out a combined 15 ULM batters for the game, compared to just one walk over nine innings.
ULM starter Dylan Marsh (0-1) was handed the loss, as he gave up five runs on six hits and one strikeout in just 1.0 inning of work.
The hot-hitting Chants carried over their momentum from their 26-10 win in game one into game two, as Coastal led off the bottom of the first inning with a single from Wood which was followed two batters later by a base hit off the bat of Wright to put runners on the corners with one out.
After a fielder’s choice got Wood out at the plate for out number two in the inning, Skeels came through with a two-out, two-run single to left field to put the home team on top 2-0 right out of the gates.
Chavers quickly doubled the lead with one swing of the bat just two pitches later, as the All-Sun Belt first team selection launched a two-run home run to right field to extend the Chants’ lead out to 4-0.
Shortstop Scott McKeon kept the inning going with a double to right center field and moved up to third on a ULM error on the relay back into the infield before Koenig lined an RBI single to left field to give CCU a 5-0 lead just one inning into the contest.
CCU scored another run in the bottom of the second on a Wood double, a wild pitch and a Kieton Rivers RBI ground out to push the lead out to 6-0.
ULM got on the scoreboard with a two-run home run from all-conference performer Bell in the top of the third; however, the Chants continued to keep scoring by adding three more runs in the bottom half of the inning on a Bradley Riopelle sacrifice fly and a two-run double off the 20-foot batter’s eye by Wood to give the home team a 9-2 edge.
Following the two-run home run by ULM in the third, Parker and Damron combined to send down 11-straight Warhawk hitters over the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, highlighted by five-straight punch-outs for Damron, to keep the home team in front.
CCU added a run in the fifth on a bases-loaded walk and took a 10-2 lead into the seventh inning before ULM’s Carson Klepzig hit a two-run home run to left field to trim the Chants lead to six at 10-4.
ULM again used the long ball, a second two-run home run from Bell in the top of the eighth inning, to continue to chip away at the Coastal Carolina lead.
However, the Chants went to the bullpen to Causey who got a fly out, pop up and a strikeout to end the threat and keep the home team on top at 10-6 midway through the eighth inning.
Causey returned to the mound in the ninth to strike out the side to send the Chants to the championship game with a 10-6 win.
Coastal will be making its second-straight Sun Belt Championship game having defeated Troy 11-6 in last year’s title game to win the 2018 Sun Belt Championship.