Miscues haunt Chants in 14-8 loss to Georgia State

Coastal Carolina will look to even the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET
CCU senior pitcher John Kelly.
CCU senior pitcher John Kelly.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: Apr. 9, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina committed five errors and allowed 10 unearned runs all in the first four innings to fall behind early in a 14-8 loss to the Georgia State Panthers on Friday night in the Sun Belt Conference weekend series opener at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The loss snapped Coastal’s winning streak at three games and put CCU at 16-11-1 overall and 5-4-1 in league play. With the win, Georgia State moved to 20-10 overall and 8-2 in the Sun Belt, while also extending its winning streak to seven consecutive games.

The two teams combined for eight errors and left a combined 22 runners on base.

Offensively, the Chanticleers were led by Christopher Rowan, Jr. (1-for-2, HR, 3 RBIs, run) who hit a three-run home run in the eighth inning, while Austin White (1-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI, run), Eric Brown (1-for-4, 2B, BB, run), and Matt McDermott (0-for-4, BB, RBI, run) all had an RBI and scored a run in the loss.

Georgia State was led at the plate by outfielders Dalton Pearson (1-for-5, 2B, 4 RBIs, run) and Max Ryerson (1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RBIs, run) with a combined six RBIs on the night, while designated hitter Luke Boynton (1-for-5, 2 RBIs, run) added two more RBIs in the win.

CCU starting pitcher Reid VanScoter (5-2) was handed the tough-luck loss, as the lefty was hit up for 10 runs, only three of which were earned, on six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over 2.2 innings of work.

Picking up the win on the mound for the Panthers was reliever Mason Patel (1-0), as the righty struck out two hitters over 3.0-scoreless winnings out of the bullpen.

The first Georgia State batter of the game reached base safely on a CCU error in the infield which set the tone for the night, as the Panthers went on to score three runs, two of which were earned, on a walk, sacrifice bunt, an RBI-single, and a two-run double to take a 3-0 lead midway through the first inning of play.

After the Chanticleers left the bases loaded in the bottom half of the first, the Panthers pounced again in the top of the second, plating five runs in the frame to storm out to an 8-0 lead.

The Panthers used a lead-off double and a sacrifice bunt to set up the first run of the inning on an RBI-single to left field to take a 4-0 lead.

Following a double, fielder’s choice, and a strikeout, VanScoter and the home team looked to be able to avoid any more damage in the inning until another fielding error on the infield allowed two more unearned runs to score and kept the inning alive where the Panthers added two more runs on a two-out single to cap the five-run inning.

Coastal got two runs back in the bottom half of the second inning on an RBI-double from White and an RBI-ground out by Brown to put the score at 8-2, only to see the Panthers plate two more unearned runs in the next half-inning, again aided by another Chanticleer error.

Down 10-2 in the bottom of the third, the Chants themselves took advantage of two Georgia State errors to push one run across, but yet again saw the Panthers answer with three more runs in the top of the fourth inning which was started by a dropped fly ball in the outfield by the Chanticleers’ defense.

Georgia State would extend its lead to 14-3 with an RBI-single in the top of the eighth. However, the Chants refused to roll over and play dead, as Coastal used a five-run inning of its own in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a three-run home run from Rowan, Jr. to cut the Panthers’ lead to six at 14-8.

Both teams would leave one runner stranded in the ninth to keep the final score at 14-8.

Over the last five innings, the CCU bullpen settled in, as the quartet of John Kelly (1.1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K), Luke Barrow (1.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 BB), Darin Horn (2.0 IP, 2 hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), and Jonathan Blackwell (1.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 BB, 2 K) combined to allow just one run on four hits, four walks, and six strikeouts.

Coastal and the Panthers will meet again for game two of the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.

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