CCU pitchers Parker and Kreuzer combine to shutout Liberty, 2-0

Chanticleers post their first shutout win of the season

CCU pitchers Parker and Kreuzer combine to shutout Liberty, 2-0
CCU pitcher Nick Parker. (Source: Coastal Carolina Athletics)

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Coastal Carolina junior pitcher Nick Parker threw a career-high 7.0-scoreless innings and held Liberty to just four base hits, while the Chanticleers’ offense had two big hits to come away with a 2-0 shutout win over the Liberty Flames on Saturday afternoon in Lynchburg, Va.

The shutout win is the first for the Chanticleers since defeating Maryland 16-0 at home on Feb. 23, 2020.

Parker (3-3) was cruising on Saturday, matching his career-long outing with 7.0-complete innings. The righty gave up four hits and two walks while striking out a season-high six batters in the win. It was his third quality start of the year.

Graduate transfer Daniel Kreuzer (2) picked up his second save as a Chant with 2.0-scoreless innings over the eighth and ninth to seal the shutout win.

The loss fell to Liberty starter Nick Willard (2-1), as the freshman gave up one run on four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over 3.2 innings on the mound.

While the Coastal offense struggled, going just 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight base runners, putting a runner on base in every inning but the ninth, the Chants’ bats did just enough to help get the win.

CCU totaled five extra-base hits on a home run and four doubles and again was led by sophomore Dale Thomas (2-for-4, SAC) with two base hits and junior BT Riopelle (2-for-4, HR, RBI) with a solo home run. Parker Chavers (1-for-4, 2B, RBI), Nick Lucky (1-for-3, 2B), Eric Brown (1-for-4, 2B), and Alex Gattinelli (1-for-4, 2B) each had a double for the game.

The Flames had five base hits, all singles, as five different Flames had a base hit in Aaron Anderson (1-for-4), Trey McDyre (1-for-4), Jake Wilson (1-for-4), Cam Locklear (1-for-3), and Logan Mathieu  (1-for-3).

After the Chants stranded a runner in each of the first two innings on a double in both the first and second frames, the third double of the game for the Chants proved to be the charm, as Chavers launched a two-out double off the center-field wall right at the 395-mark in the top of the third inning. The two-out extra-base hit scored Cooper Weiss from second base to put the visitors in black on top 1-0. The run was set up by a lead-off walk and a sacrifice bunt by lead-off hitter Thomas.

The lead stayed put at 1-0 over the first four innings, as Parker followed a 1-2-3 first inning by stranding two Liberty runners in the second with a strikeout to end the inning, two more in the third on a strikeout and ground out, and one more in the fourth with another inning-ending punch-out.

Following another 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth by Parker, Riopelle doubled the Chants’ lead with one swing of the bat in the top of the sixth, a solo home run to right field to put the men in black in front at 2-0 midway through the sixth inning. It was his sixth home run of the season.

Parker pitched around a single, a passed ball, and a belt change in the seventh, as the Liberty head coach had the umpires check the junior righty for a foreign substance but to no avail, as he got the next to batters out on a ground out and fly out to keep the Flames scoreless through seven innings.

Kreuzer came in on fire, allowing just one hit over the final two innings to complete the 2-0 shutout win.

Coastal (19-14) and Liberty (26-10) will play the rubber game tomorrow with a 2 p.m. ET first pitch.

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