CCU baseball’s season ends with loss to South Alabama in Sun Belt Tournament
Chanticleers won five of their last six games
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Coastal Carolina’s 2021 season came to an end on Wednesday afternoon, as the Chanticleers fell to the South Alabama Jaguars 14-7 at the 2021 Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championship Tournament at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery, Ala.
The Jaguars used a trio of big innings with a five-run second, a four-run sixth, and a four-run eighth to pull away from the Chanticleers in the tournament win.
Coastal finished the season at 27-24 overall and won five of its finals six games on the year.
With the loss, the Chanticleers are now 10-3 all-time in Sun Belt Championship Tournament play since joining the league in 2017.
Junior Nick Lucky (2-for-3, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) capped his stellar play at the conference tournament with two home runs on the day, while fellow Chant Zack Beach (2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) also blasted two long balls as the duo combined for six of the Chants’ seven RBIs.
With the two home runs in the game from both Beach and Lucky, five different Chants hit two home runs in the same game a total of six times on the season, including twice by Lucky. (Tanner Garrison (vs. UConn, March 8), BT Riopelle (vs. FIU, March 12), Dale Thomas (vs. Troy, May 9), Lucky (vs. Texas State, May 22), Beach (vs. South Alabama, May 26), and Lucky (vs. South Alabama, May 26)).
The Jaguars were led by Hunter Donaldson (4-for-4, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) with a game-high four hits and Ethan Wilson (2-for-3, HR, 3B, 3 IBB, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) with a team-high three RBIs. Both Michael Sandle (2-for-5, 2B, HBP, 2 RBIs, run) and Kaleb DeLaTorre (1-for-3, 2B, BB, SAC, 2 RBIs) drove in two runs each.
USA starter Miles Smith (5-1) picked up the win. The right-hander allowed four runs on five hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.
The save went to Jackson Boyd (1) who pitched the final three innings in the win.
The loss fell to CCU’s Daniel Kreuzer (1-2), as the graduate transfer gave up three runs on three hits and one walk over a third of an inning.
The Chanticleers got on the scoreboard first in the top half of the first, as the visitors pushed across a run on a swinging strikeout and a wild pitch, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI ground out to the right side of the infield to go up 1-0.
After South Alabama’s Wilson tied the game up in the bottom of the first on a solo home run to right field, Coastal’s Beach hit a two-run blast to right in the top of the second to put the visitors back in front at 3-1.
However, the Jaguars continued the scoring trend with a five-run second inning which started with another solo shot, this time from Andrew Bates, to put South Alabama within one at 3-2.
USA then ran off five more hits in the frame, which included an RBI double from Santi Montiel and an RBI single to right field by Sandle to put the home team on the scoreboard on top at 4-3.
With the bases loaded, the Jaguars added a run on a fielder’s choice and then one more on a double to left-center field before an outfield assist from Parker Chavers to Eric Brown to BT Riopelle registered the third out of the inning at home with the Jaguars in front at 6-3.
Three innings later, the Chants used the long ball again to cut into the Jaguars’ lead, as Lucky launched a 443-foot home run to right-center field, his second home run of the tournament, to put the men in Teal within two at 6-4 midway through the fifth inning of play.
However, the Jaguars used another big inning with a four-spot in the bottom of the sixth to run away from the Chanticleers and push their lead to six at 10-4.
Following a lead-off base hit and a hit batter, Wilson tripled to the left-center field gap to score two runs. Sandle then doubled down the left-field line for another RBI base hit, while a safety squeeze two batters later capped the four-run frame.
The Chants refused to go away without a fight, as the duo of Beach and Lucky struck again in the top of the seventh, as Beach led off the frame with a solo home run to left field while Lucky followed two batters later with a two-run bomb down the right-field line to close the gap to three at 10-7 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
The Jaguars put the game away with a four-run eighth inning, highlighted by an RBI single from Cameron Tissue and a two-run base hit by Donaldson to double-up the Chants 14-7.
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