Coastal walks it off in the 10th, Chants defeat Texas State, 8-7
Chanticleers scored two runs in the ninth and one in the 10th in the win
CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina tied the game up with two runs in the bottom of the ninth and strung together four consecutive singles in the bottom of the 10th inning to come away with the 8-7 extra-inning come-from-behind win over Texas State on Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.
After junior pitcher Alaska Abney struck out five-straight Texas State hitters, including the side in the top of the ninth, to keep the Chants in striking distance in their final at-bat in the bottom of the ninth, the offense came through with a little help from the Bobcats to tie the game up and force extra innings.
A lead-off single by Cooper Weiss and a hit-by-pitch to Parker Chavers brought the winning run to the plate with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
Senior designated hitter Alex Gattinelli laced a single down the right-field line that scored Weiss from second base and put the tying run 90-feet away in Chavers and himself, the winning run, on first base with one out.
The Bobcats looked to have sealed the win with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game, however, on the second punch-out, the Texas State catcher threw the ball into the dirt at first base which allowed the Chant hitter to reach safely and Chavers to score from third on the throwing error to tie the game up at 7-7.
Abney would send the Bobcats down in order in the top of the 10th to set the stage for the come-from-behind win.
Red-hot Eric Brown led off the bottom half of the 10th inning with a single to left field. Fellow sophomores Zack Beach and Weiss would follow with back-to-back bunt singles to the pitcher in front of home plate to load the bases for Billy Underwood.
The freshman outfielder headed to the plate with an 0-for-5 night before coming up with perhaps the biggest hit of his young Coastal Carolina career, as he lined a ball just out of the reach of the drawn-in shortstop to score Brown from third in the 8-7 walk-off win.
Abney (3-2) picked up the win, as he allowed one unearned run on two hits, three walks, and seven strikeouts over the final 4.0 innings of the contest.
The loss fell to Texas State’s Tristan Stivors (2-3), as the righty reliever gave up one run on four hits and three strikeouts over 0.2 of an inning out of the bullpen.
CCU had a total of nine players register a hit in the extra-inning affair on Friday night led by Brown (4-for-4, BB, 2 runs) who had a game-high four base hits. Gattinelli (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs, run) had a double and two RBIs, while BT Riopelle (1-for-5, RBI), Beach (1-for-4, RBI), and Weiss (2-for-5, RBI, run) all had an RBI in the win.
Texas State’s offense had seven players account for 10 hits led by Jose Gonzalez (2-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 3 RBIs, run), Will Hollis (2-for-4, 2 2B, BB, RBI, run), and Jaxon Williams (2-for-4, 2 BB, 2 runs) all had two hits apiece.
The win marks the third-straight for the Chanticleers, the first time that CCU has won three-straight games since March 13-19, and pushes the Chants to 2-1 in extra-inning contests this season.
The Bobcats pounced out to an early lead in the top of the first, as the second batter of the game hit a two-run home to left field to put the visitors on top at 2-0 midway through the first inning.
After Texas State added a run in the second on a CCU throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt and a fourth run in the top of the third on an RBI single through the right side to push the lead to 4-0, the Chants got two runs back in the bottom of the third to cut the Texas State lead in half.
Chavers started the rally with a two-out single to right field. Gattinelli followed with a double off the left-center field wall to drive in Chavers and keep the inning alive for Riopelle who lined an RBI single over the leaping shortstop into center field to plate Gattinelli and put the Chants down just two at 4-2 after three innings of play.
While junior pitcher Nick Parker, who entered the game in the second inning, kept the Bobcats’ bats at bay with a 1-2-3 fourth frame and 1-2-3 sixth inning, the Chants’ offense battled back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to take their first lead of the game at 5-4.
Second baseman Dale Thomas led off the inning with an infield single back to the pitcher. After Nick Lucky legged out a sacrifice bunt attempt for a base hit, Brown stayed hot with a single to load the bases with no outs.
Beach hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track and right field to move all three runners up and plate Thomas to put the Chants down one at 4-3. Weiss then followed with an RBI-ground out up the middle to the second baseman to tie the game up at 4-4.
The inning would continue with the help of a Texas State error at third base on a sharp ground ball that allowed Brown to scurry in from third and put the home team in front at 6-5.
However, the lead did not last for long, as the Bobcats retook the lead at 6-5 in the top half of the seventh on an RBI single from Gonzalez and an RBI double by Hollis, before adding to its lead with a walk, sacrifice bunt, single up the middle, and a Coastal throwing error to take a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the eighth.
The Chants’ Brown reached base on a one-out single through the left side of the infield to bring the tying run to the plate only to see a 5-6-3 double-play in the shift ended the Coastal inning to send the game to the ninth.
The two teams combined to strike out 23 batters, as the Chants’ pitching staff fanned 12 Bobcat hitters while the Texas State pitchers struck out 11 Coastal Carolina batters.
Coastal (25-23, 8-12 Sun Belt) and Texas State (21-33, 9-14 Sun Belt) will play the final game of the 2021 regular season tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.
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