CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina baseball scored eight runs, seven of which came by way of a season-high five home runs, to erase a 6-1 deficit in a come-from-behind win over the Georgia Southern Eagles in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The Chanticleers’ five home runs were not only a season-high but the most in a single game since hitting five home runs in back-to-back Sun Belt Championship Tournament wins over UTA (May 24, 2019) and ULM (May 25, 2019) in 2019.
The win snaps Coastal’s skid at two losses and puts the Chants at 17-13 on the season and 3-6 in Sun Belt play. The loss ends the Eagles’ winning streak at eight consecutive games and puts them at 21-14 overall and 9-6 in league play.
Five different Chants homered in the win, as the bottom of the order in spots 5-9 went a combined 8-for-18 with four home runs, two doubles, seven RBIs, and seven runs scored in the win.
Sophomore catcher Tanner Garrison (1-for-3, HR, 3 RBIs, run) had a three-run home run in the sixth, which put the Chants in front, while outfielder Alex Gattinelli (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), and first baseman Zack Beach (2-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 runs) went hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth. It was the second time this season that the Chanticleers have hit back-to-back home runs.
Sophomore infielder Dale Thomas (2-for-3, HR, 2B, RBI, run) started the home run parade with a solo shot in the third inning, while redshirt junior outfielder Parker Chavers (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) capped the five-home run day with a solo shot in the seventh.
The Eagles’ offense again had double-digit hits led by the top three hitters in the lineup all recording two hits apiece. Mason McWhorter (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBIs, run) had two extra-base hits and three RBIs, while lead-off hitter Steven Curry (2-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) also homered in the loss.
The win went to freshman reliever Teddy Sharkey (2-1), as the right-handed hurler entered the game in the top of the sixth and struck out one and gave up just one hit over 1.1 innings on the mound.
Graduate transfer Daniel Kreuzer (1) recorded his first save as a Chanticleer, as he gave up just one hit and fanned three Eagle hitters over 2.0-scoreless innings.
GS starter Jordan Jackson (2-5) was handed the loss, as he allowed seven runs on eight hits, one walk, and nine strikeouts over 5.2 innings on the mound.
After both starters cruised through the first two innings of play, Georgia Southern struck first in the top of the third with a three-run home run by McWhorter off of CCU starter Jacob Maton to take a 3-0 lead midway through the third inning.
CCU’s Thomas got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the inning on a solo home run to left-center field to put the Chants down 3-1 heading into the fourth inning of play.
The two teams used the long ball again in the fifth inning, as Curry hit a two-run home run in the top of the inning before a two-out Austin Thompson RBI single pushed the Eagles’ lead to 6-1 midway through the fifth.
Refusing to give in, Coastal’s Gattinelli and Beach hit back-to-back solo home runs, one to left field and one to right field, in the bottom half of the inning to close the gap to three at 6-3 with four innings to play.
Following a 1-2-3, shutdown-inning from Sharkey in the sixth, the Chants stormed back in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out double from Lucky and an RBI single off the bat of Gattinelli to put the score at 6-4.
Beach kept the inning alive with a two-out single through the right side to put runners on first and second for Garrison. The sophomore hit the first pitch of the at-bat over the wall in left field to give the Chants their first lead of the game at 7-6.
The Eagles loaded the bases in the top half of the seventh with one out, however, freshman reliever Luke Barrow was able to get a soft lineout to Eric Brown at shortstop before the Eagles’ Curry ran the visitors out of the inning trying to score from third on a ball in the dirt to keep the Chants in front at 7-6 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chavers added an insurance run with a solo home run to right field, his fourth of the season, to push the home team’s lead to two at 8-6.
Kreuzer came into the game in the eighth and closed the door, pitching a 1-2-3 eighth and around a two-out double in the ninth to save the 8-6 win for the Chanticleers.
The Chants left just two runners on base for the game compared to the Eagles’ six runners and committed just one error for the game while making a number of outstanding plays in the field highlighted by diving stops on two hard-hit ground balls by Thomas at third base and Lucky at second base, and two big stretches by Beach at first base on a pair of ground ball outs.
Coastal (17-13, 3-6 SBC) will hit the road for a midweek contest at North Carolina (17-15) on Tuesday, April 20, in Chapel Hill, N.C.