Chants score the final eight runs of the game in 10-6 comeback win

Coastal Carolina baseball
Coastal Carolina baseball(WMBF)
Published: May. 14, 2022 at 12:00 AM EDT
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TROY, Ala. – Coastal Carolina erased a 6-2 deficit and scored the last eight runs of the game to pick up a 10-6 come-from-behind win in the series opener versus the Troy Trojans on Friday night at Riddle-Pace Field in Troy, Ala.

The win pushed CCU to 30-16-1 overall and 17-7-1 in league play, while the loss extended the Trojans’ longest losing streak of the season to five consecutive games and put them at 29-19 overall and 13-12 in SBC play.

Entering the game in the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 6-4, reliever Reece Maniscalco (2-1) was dominant in throwing 3.0-scoreless innings to shut down the Troy offense and allow his team to battle back in the late innings in the win. Maniscalco surrendered one hit, walked one, and hit one batter while striking out six Troy hitters over the final three innings to pick up the win.

Maniscalco followed fellow right-handed reliever Matthew Potok, who gave up one run on two hits in the sixth inning. Potok took the ball from starter Reid VanScoter who allowed five runs on nine hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts over 5.0-complete innings.

The loss fell to Troy reliever Kyle Gamble (2-3), as the lefty was hit up for four runs on four hits, two walks, two strikeouts, and a balk over 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.

The Coastal offense was led by the middle of the lineup once again in Tyler Johnson (2-for-4, HR, RBI, BB, 2 runs) and Christopher Rowan, Jr. (1-for-2, HR, SF, BB, HBP, 4 RBIs, run) who each homered in the win, while Graham Brown (2-for-3, 2 2B, BB, RBI, 2 runs) and Eric Brown (2-for-4, 2 2B, run) each had two doubles on the night.

For Troy at the plate, Caleb Bartolero (3-for-5, 2B, RBI, run, SB) had a game-high three base hits, while both Kyle Mock (1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBIs) and Clay Stearns (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) drove in two RBIs apiece in the loss.

VanScoter got off to a strong start in the contest by striking out four of the first five batters for the Trojans in the first two innings of play, however, a one-out single, stolen base, and a walk put runners on first and third for the Trojans in the bottom of the second.

The next Troy hitter lined a single through the left side of the infield to plate the first run of the game to put the home team on top early at 1-0.

With two runners on for the Trojans in the same inning, the home team looked to add to its lead but a heads-up play on a pop-up at home plate saw Kameron Guangorena make the catch and then throw behind the runner at second base for the inning-ending double play to keep the deficit at just one at 1-0.

Coastal got the run back in the top of the third inning, as Graham Brown led off the inning with a double to center field and then moved up 90-feet on a sacrifice bunt from Matt McDermott.

With one out and the top of the order up, Austin White hit a sacrifice fly to left field that was just deep enough to score Graham Brown from third to knot the game up at 1-1 midway through the third inning.

Two well-placed ground balls by the Trojans in the bottom half of the third inning pushed the home team back in front at 2-1, as a ground ball just out of the reach of first baseman Rowan, Jr. down the right-field line gave William Sullivan a double which was followed by a chopper up the middle from Bartolero to plate Sullivan from second base.

After the Chants stranded two runners on base in the top of the fourth and sent down the Trojans in order in the bottom half of the inning, Troy broke through in the bottom of the fifth frame with three runs on four base hits and a sacrifice fly to take a 5-1 lead after five innings of play.

Coastal got one run back in the top of the sixth in a similar way that they scored in the third inning on a lead-off double and a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to three at 5-2, yet the Trojans were able to string together back-to-back hits to start the bottom half of the sixth inning to push the lead back out to 6-2 on a Donovan Whibbs lead-off double and an RBI-single by Stearns.

Refusing to go down without a fight, the Chanticleers took advantage of a one-out walk to Guangorena to score the catcher all the way around from first base on a double to the right-center field gap by Graham Brown, his second two-bagger of the game.

Following a throwing error to second base by the Troy pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt, Graham Brown moved up to third and then scored from 90-feet away on a McDermott sacrifice fly to deep right field to trim the Trojans’ lead to two at 6-4.

After Maniscalco entered the game and struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh, the Chants battled back in the top of the eighth inning to take their first lead of the game with a three-run frame.

Johnson got the rally started with a solo home run to left-center field, his 14th home run of the season, to put the Chants down one at 6-5. Following a hit-by-pitch, a single, and a fielder’s choice, Troy’s pitcher was called for a balk to allow pinch-runner Billy Underwood to walk in from third base to tie the game up at 6-6.

Four pitches later, Guangorena laced a double to the gap in left-center field to plate Thomas from second and give the visitors in teal and black a 7-6 lead.

With one swing of the bat, Rowan, Jr. added to the Chanticleers’ lead in the top of the ninth with a three-run home run deep into the night over the left-field fence to extend the visitor’s lead to four at 10-6. Rowan, Jr., who had left the game in the eighth inning for concussion protocol testing after being hit in the helmet by a pitch, was allowed to re-enter the game after passing the protocol testing procedures.

The home run took the wind out of the Trojans and the Troy crowd, as Maniscalco pitched around a single in the ninth with two strikeouts and a fielder’s choice ground out to complete the come-from-behind win.

Coastal Carolina and Troy will play game two of the three-game series tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET at Riddle-Pace Field.

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