Chants hit four homers in 15-4 win over Little Rock

Chants matched their season-high with four home runs in the win
Tyler Johnson hit two home runs in CCU's win.
Tyler Johnson hit two home runs in CCU's win.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 10:27 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina matched their season-high with four home runs in the series opener, as the Chanticleers scored double-digit runs for the second consecutive game with a 15-4 win over Little Rock on Friday night at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The game, which was moved up two hours to a 4 p.m. ET start time due to the forecast of inclement weather, also saw an hour and three-minute rain delay in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The win propelled the Chanticleers to 27-15-1 overall and 14-7-1 in Sun Belt play, while the loss dropped the Trojans to 21-20 overall and 9-12 in league action.

With the win, Coastal has won 11 of its last 13 games, including nine of its last 10 Sun Belt Conference games.

Two-time Sun Belt Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week Reid VanScoter (8-2) recorded his eighth quality start of the season and his eighth win on the year, as he held Little Rock to three runs on seven hits, three walks, six strikeouts, and two wild pitches over 6.2 innings pitched.

The loss fell to LR’s Hayden Arnold (4-5), as the right-handed hurler was hit up for six runs on nine hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and two wild pitches over 4.0-complete innings of work.

Coastal designated hitter Tyler Johnson (3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) led the way with two home runs, the second time this season he has hit two home runs in the same game, while third baseman Dale Thomas (3-for-4, HR, BB, sac bunt, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) and first baseman Christopher Rowan, Jr. (2-for-4, HR, 2B, RBI, 2 runs) each had a home run in the win.

Second baseman Matt McDermott (0-for-4, BB, 3 RBIs) drove in three RBIs, while catcher Tanner Garrison (2-for-4, run) and Austin White (2-for-4, BB, HBP, RBI, run) added two base hits each in the blowout win.

Little Rock’s offense consisted of 10 singles led by Canyon Williams (2-for-3, BB, run) and Eldridge Figueroa (2-for-3) with two hits apiece. Nathan Lyons (1-for-3, RBI, run), Christian Bernabe (1-for-1, RBI), Jake Wright (1-for-3, BB, RBI), and Jaxson Anderson (0-for-2, RBI) all drove in one run in the loss.

The Chanticleers opened the scoring with an RBI-double from Graham Brown in the bottom of the second inning and then added to their lead with a five-run third inning which included back-to-back home runs from Johnson and Rowan, Jr. to put the home team on top 6-0. Johnson’s long ball was a three-run shot, while Rowan, Jr. followed with a solo home run, both to left-center field.

The defense aided VanScoter early with a double play in the first inning and a second twin killing in the third frame to keep the visiting Trojans off the scoreboard through three innings.

However, Little Rock broke through in the top of the fourth inning with only one ball leaving the infield, as Tyler Williams led off the inning with a single through the left side. After a ground ball back to the pitcher got out number one, the Trojans took advantage of two wild pitches, three infield singles, and an RBI-ground out to plate three runs and cut the Chants’ lead 6-3 midway through the fourth inning.

The Chants added a run on two walks, an infield single, and a fielder’s choice ground out in the bottom of the fifth, before breaking the game wide open with another five-run inning in the bottom of the sixth on another home run from Johnson, a three-run home run by Thomas, and an RBI-ground out off the bat of McDermott to extend the lead to 12-3 after six complete.

Coastal continued its scoring pace with another run in the bottom of the seventh with an error, single, walk, and wild pitch to push the lead to double-digits at 13-3 before the rain came down and the tarp was pulled onto the field.

Following the delay, a bases-loaded walk and bases-loaded hit-by-pitch pushed across two more runs for the home team to put the score at 15-3 with two innings to play.

Little Rock scored a run in the top of the eighth on a single, passed ball, and an RBI-single from Bernable to cut the lead to 11 at 15-4 before reliever Jonathan Blackwell pitched around a single for his second inning on the mound in the ninth inning to seal the 15-4 home win.

With their two double plays, the Chanticleers have a Sun Belt-leading 41 double plays on the season, including 10 over their last five games.

Coastal and Little Rock will play game two of the three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.

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