Graham Brown hits walk-off homer in CCU’s 9-6 win over Little Rock
Chants recorded their second walk-off win of the season
CONWAY, S.C. – With the score tied at 6-6 and runners on first and second in one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, Coastal Carolina junior outfielder Graham Brown hit a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field for a three-run walk-off home run to give the Chanticleers a 9-6 win on Saturday afternoon over the Little Rock Trojans at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The walk-off home run is the first for the Chanticleers since Nick Lucky hit a two-run walk-off home run in a seven-inning, 10-run rule win over Texas State on May 22, 2021. The walk-off win is the second of the season for CCU, who had a walk-off when in nine innings versus UTA on April 22, 2022.
The win pushes Coastal to 28-15-1 on the season and 15-7-1 in league play, while with the loss the Trojans fall to 21-21 overall and 9-13 in the conference.
Graham Brown (1-for-1, HR, 2 BB, HBP, sac bunt, 3 RBIs) provided the fireworks with his three-run home run, but also reached base five times on the day. Tyler Johnson (1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, run) stayed hot with a two-run home run, while Dale Thomas (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) hit his 10th home run of the season in the win.
For the Trojans at the plate, lead-off hitter Jorden Hussein (5-for-6, 3 2B, 2 RBIs, run) had a game-high five base hits, including three doubles, while Canyon McWilliams (1-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, run) hit a two-run home in the top of the ninth to tie the game up and send it into extra innings.
Picking up the win out of the bullpen was freshman Matthew Potok (3-0), as the young righty pitched around one hit in the top of the 10th and stranded two Trojans on base with a big strikeout to end the inning.
Despite not factoring in on the decision, Coastal starter Michael Knorr recorded his fifth quality start of the season by holding Little Rock to just one run on four hits, one walk, and eight strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings of work.
The loss fell to the Trojans’ Jacob Weatherly (1-2), as the righty pitched a 1-2-3 ninth but gave up two walks and the home run to Graham Brown in the 10th inning.
LR took a 1-0 lead with a solo home run two batters into the game, as Eldridge Figueroa hit a home run to left field.
However, the lead did not last for long, as Coastal’s Austin White led off the bottom of the first inning with a single and then came around to score three batters later on a Trojans’ fielding error to tie the game up at 1-1.
The Chants took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run to left field from Thomas and then added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth by way of a two-run shot from Johnson, his team-leading 13th home run of the year.
Leading 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth, CCU picked up a lead-off single pass the shift by Kameron Guangorena and then took advantage of a Little Rock throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt and a wild pitch to put runners on second and third.
Matt McDermott would then bounce a single over the head of the drawn-in infield to plate Guangorena from third to extend the lead to 5-1 with runners on the corner.
White followed with a great push-bunt towards the second baseman and nearly reached first base safely on the play but ultimately scored Graham Brown from third on the sacrifice to put the Chants up 6-1 with three innings to play.
However, after the Trojans stranded two runners in the seventh inning and one more in the eighth, the visitors broke through in the ninth inning with a two-run double by Hussein to put the score at 6-3.
Following back-to-back strikeouts, a wild pitch allowed a runner from third to score easily and trim the Chants’ lead to just two at 6-4.
With a runner on third, LR’s McWilliams fouled off four 3-2 pitches and hit the 11th pitch of the at-bat into right-center field for a two-run shot to tie the game up at 6-6.
Coastal went down in order in the bottom of the ninth, sending the game into extra innings, where Potok pitched around a two-out double and a hit-by-pitch to strike out Tyler Williams on three straight pitches and strand the go-ahead run in scoring position.
Lucky drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the 10th inning and abruptly moved up to second on a Thomas sacrifice bunt. LR then intentionally walked Guangorena to set up a double-play ball.
Rather, it set up the heroics for the junior outfielder who hit his fifth home run of the season to give the Chants the walk-off victory.
The Chanticleers left seven guys on base while the Trojans stranded 12. LR also turned one double play, while the Chants, who lead the league in double plays, did not turn one for the game.
Coastal will go for the three-game series sweep over Little Rock tomorrow at 1 p.m. ET.
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