Coastal bats explode in 14-9 win over Wake Forest
Chanticleers swept the regular-season series with the Deacs
CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina offense tallied 11 two-out RBIs as the Chanticleers’ bats exploded for 14 runs on 14 hits in a 14-9 midweek win over the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Tuesday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The win pushes the Chants to 23-23 overall and 5-2 in midweek contests on the season, while the loss drops Wake Forest to 17-27 on the year. Coastal swept the two-game regular-season series with the Demon Deacons and have now won seven-straight in the series.
The Chants’ double-digit outburst on Tuesday night was the first at home since scoring a 12-10 win over UConn on March 8. The 14 runs scored by the Chants were the second-most this season behind only a 15-run win over Davidson on March 5.
Sophomore shortstop Eric Brown (4-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, 6 RBIs, 2 runs, 2 SB) paced the Chants’ offense with a career-high four base hits and six RBIs, which included a three-run home run.
Following Brown’s lead at the plate was fellow infielder Dale Thomas (3-for-4, HBP, 2 RBIs, 3 runs) and senior catcher Alex Gattinelli (3-for-5, RBI, 2 runs) with three hits apiece, while outfielders Nick Lucky (2-for-3, 2B, BB, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) and Billy Underwood (2-for-5, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) had two hits each.
Wake Forest proved why it is among the nation’s leaders in home runs, blasting five home runs which accounted for all nine of the runs on the night. Designated hitter Shane Muntz (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 3 RBIs, run) and first baseman Bobby Seymour (3-for-5, HR, RBI, 2 runs) each had three base hits, while Brock Wilken (1-for-3, HR, HBP, 3 RBIs, run) and Michael Ludowig (2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) combined for three home runs and five RBIs in the loss.
Six different Chants pitched for the men in Teal in the victory, as freshman reliever Luke Barrow (1-1) proved to be the most effective with two strikeouts and one walk over 1.0-complete inning in the win.
The loss fell to Wake’s starting pitcher Reed Mascolo (3-2), as the righty gave up seven runs on six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over 3.0 innings on the mound.
The Chants roared out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, as a hit-by-pitch and a walk set up a three-run home run from Brown, his eighth home run of the season.
However, the lead did not last long, as the Demon Deacons tied the game up in the next half-inning with three-straight base hits, the third being a three-run home run to left field off the bat of Wilken to tie the game up at 3-3 midway through the third inning.
Coastal quickly retook the lead with a big inning in the bottom half of the third inning with three two-out base hits. After Underwood led off the inning with a single to right field and then advanced to second on a wild pitch, the freshman moved up to third on an infield hit by Gattinelli to put runners on first and third with one out.
Following a strikeout for out number two in the inning, the Chanticleers strung together three consecutive hits on a two-out RBI single from Thomas followed by an RBI double by Lucky and a two-run double off the left-center field wall by Brown to push the Chants back out in front at 7-3 after three innings of play.
The Chants’ Thomas did it again in the bottom of the fourth, picking up his second two-out RBI single of the game to extend the home team’s lead to five at 8-3 heading into the fifth frame.
Wake Forest used the long ball again in the top of the sixth to cut the Coastal lead to four at 8-4 on a solo home run by Seymour and looked to push across more runs in the frame on a double and a CCU fielding error until a ground out to second base left the two runners stranded.
The Chants’ two-out hit parade continued in the bottom of the sixth, as Thomas again started the rally with a two-out single to left-field. Lucky stayed hot at the plate with a two-run double off the right-center field wall which was immediately followed by an RBI single from Brown, his sixth RBI of the game, to extend the home team’s lead to 11-4.
The defense flashed its leather in the top of the seventh, as Brown made a sliding catch on a shallow pop-up to left field with the bases loaded for the first out in the inning. Fellow infielder Cooper Weiss made a diving catch at third base on a line drive for out number two, while the third out also came from yet another web gem on the left side of the infield. Brown made a diving stop on a ball deep in the hole and quickly threw the ball to third to get the force out to end the inning and keep the Deacs off the scoreboard in the frame.
CCU added to its lead in the bottom half of the seventh with a Gattinelli two-out RBI single to right field to plate Weiss and add to the lead at 12-4.
The Deacons continued to take their hacks, as the visitors got a solo home run from Ludowig in the eighth, a three-run shot from Muntz in the ninth, and another solo blast from Ludowig in the ninth to push their run total to nine.
However, the Chants were able to take advantage of a throwing error by the Deacs in the eighth and added to their two-out RBI total with a two-run single up the middle by Underwood to push the lead to 14-5 heading into the final inning of play.
Coastal will stay at home to host Texas State (21-31, 9-12 Sun Belt) for a three-game series on May 20-22. Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m. ET.
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