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Coastal Baseball completes sweep of Little Rock with 19-9 win

Chants scored a season-high 19 runs in the seven-inning win
Christopher Rowan Jr. homered in the Sunday afternoon victory.
Christopher Rowan Jr. homered in the Sunday afternoon victory.(Coastal Carolina Athletics)
Published: May. 8, 2022 at 7:49 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina baseball erased a 9-3 deficit with an eight-run inning and scored 16 unanswered runs to defeat the Little Rock Trojans 19-9 in seven innings on Sunday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The win completed the Sun Belt Conference series sweep for the Chanticleers, their fourth of the season.

CCU moved to 29-15-1 overall and 16-7-1 in Sun Belt play with the win, while the loss dropped Little Rock to 21-22 and 9-14 in league action.

The 19 runs was a season-high for the Chanticleers and marks the third time in the last four games that the offense has tallied double-digit runs.

All nine Chanticleers that walked up to the plate had a base hit in the double-digit win on Sunday, led by a game-high three base hits from Saturday afternoon’s hero Graham Brown (3-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs). Fellow Chants Austin White (2-for-4, BB, 3 runs, SB), Nick Lucky (2-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI, 2 runs), Dale Thomas (2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBIs, run), Kameron Guangorena (2-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI, run), and Matt McDermott (2-for-4, SF, RBI, 2 runs) all had two hits apiece in the win.

In the middle of the order, Tyler Johnson (1-for-5, 2B, SF, BB, 5 RBIs, run) and Christopher Rowan, Jr. (1-for-4, HR, BB, 4 RBIs, 3 runs) combined for nine RBIs.

For Little Rock, Jake Wright (1-for-4, HR, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) hit a grand slam, while Eldrige Figueroa (1-for-3, BB, 2 RBIs) drove in two runs in the loss. Outfielder Tyler Williams (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) hit a solo home run, while Andrew Pickering (0-for-2, SF, RBI) added a sacrifice fly.

Both teams hit .333 (3-for-9) with two outs for the game, however, the Chanticleers hit .600 (12-for-20) with runners on base and .533 (8-for-15) with runners in scoring position. Little Rock hit just .231 (3-for-13) with runners on base and .375 (3-for-8) with runners in scoring position for the contest.

Picking up the win in the seven-inning contest was reliever Riley Eikhoff (4-0), as the right-handed hurler gave up four runs on three hits and a walk in the fifth inning before the Chanticleers’ offense retook the lead with an eight-run fifth inning.

Earning the save is Elliot Carney (3), as he pitched the final two innings of the mercy-rule shortened contest, striking out four LR hitters over 2.0-scoreless innings.

Little Rock took an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run in the top of the first inning and remained in front until the bottom of the third inning when Johnson put the home team on the scoreboard with a three-run, bases-clearing, double to left field to put the Chants on top 3-1 after three innings played.

However, Little Rock retook the lead with a four-run inning in the top of the fourth that was aided by three walks, two hit batters, and a wild pitch from the Coastal starting pitcher, as Pickering had a sacrifice fly before Figueroa recorded a two-out, two-run single up the middle to put the visitors back in front at 5-3.

After the Trojans added four more runs in the top of the fifth on a grand slam from Wright to take a 9-3 lead, the Coastal Carolina offense exploded for eight runs in the bottom half of the inning to shock the Trojans and take an 11-9 lead into the sixth.

The eight-run frame was highlighted by a three-run home run off the bat of Rowan, Jr., an RBI-double down the left-field line from Guangorena, and capped off with a two-run home run over the wall in left-center field off the bat of Graham Brown, his second home run of the weekend.

With the 11-9 lead, the Chants went to the right arm of Carney, who pitched around a lead-off walk in the sixth inning and struck out the side around another walk in the seventh inning.

Coastal added three more runs in the sixth inning on a fielder’s choice RBI by Rowan, Jr., and back-to-back RBI-singles from Lucky and Thomas to extend the lead to 14-9.

The home team completed the 10-run rule win with five runs in the seventh inning on a Johnson sacrifice fly, a wild pitch, a two-run double by Thomas, and finally, a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off the bat of McDermott to put the final score at 19-9.

Coastal Carolina will kick off a four-game road swing at UNC Greensboro on Wednesday, May 11, at 3 p.m. ET.

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