Coastal Baseball cruises to 11-2 win over South Alabama
Chants scored the last 11 runs in the game in the series-opening win
CONWAY, S.C. – For the seventh time in the last 10 games, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers recorded double-digits runs, as the Men in Black and Teal defeated the South Alabama Jaguars 11-2 on Thursday night in game one of the three-game Sun Belt Conference series at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C.
With the win, CCU extends its home winning streak to nine consecutive games and moved to 35-16-1 overall and 20-7-1 in league play. The loss dropped USA to 30-21 overall and 16-12 in conference action.
Coastal’s offense was led by first baseman Christopher Rowan, Jr. (4-for-5, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) who matched his career-high with four base hits and drove in three RBIs, while outfielder Graham Brown (2-for-5, 3 RBIs) added a pair of two-out, run-scoring base hits in the win.
Second baseman Matt McDermott (2-for-2, 2B, 2 BB, 2 runs, 2 SB) reached base safely in all four plate appearances, while outfielder Nick Lucky (1-for-3, HR, HBP, 2 RBIs, run) hit a two-run home run to left field.
USA had just five base hits on the night led by Charles Middleton (2-for-3, RBI) with two base hits and an RBI, while Joe Sutton (1-for-3, RBI) drove in the other run in the loss.
CCU’s offense continued to stay hot, as the Chants hit .400 (8-for-20) with runners on base, .429 (6-for-14) runners in scoring position, and .625 (5-for-8) to lead off the inning.
Picking up his league-leading ninth win of the season was Reid VanScoter (9-2), as the lefty gave up just two runs on four hits, two walks, and six strikeouts over 5.0-complete innings.
Earing a 4.0-inning save was fellow 2022 graduate in Reece Maniscalco (2), as the graduate student pitched 4.0-scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out three USA batters.
Suffering the loss on the mound for the Jaguars was Matt Boswell (6-4), as the righty was roughed up for six runs on seven hits, three walks, one hit batter, and three strikeouts over 3.1 innings pitched.
The Jaguars got on the scoreboard first, taking a 2-0 lead on an RBI-single in both the first and second innings, before the Chanticleers’ offense woke up in the bottom of the second inning on a Rowan, Jr. single and a two-run opposite-field home run off the bat of Lucky to tie the game up at 2-2.
Following a 1-2-3 top of the third inning by VanScoter, the Chants threatened in the bottom half of the inning by loading the bases. However, an infield fly to the second baseman and a fly out to left field ended the frame with the home team stranding all three base runners.
Coastal pulled away from South Alabama with a big four-run inning in the bottom of the fourth to break the 2-2 tie and take its first lead of the game.
McDermott led off the inning with a double over the head of the third baseman and then quickly completed a double-steal with Austin White after the lead-off hitter drew a walk. Eric Brown then hit a flare to right field which was placed perfectly among the three USA fielders and scored McDermott from third to give the home team a 3-2 lead.
The second double-steal of the inning would result in Eric Brown stealing second and White scoring from third to double up the Jaguars at 4-2.
Two batters later, Rowan, Jr. hit a line drive that landed just under the glove of the diving South Alabama left fielder to drop for a hit and score Eric Brown from third to push the lead to three.
Graham Brown capped the four-run frame with a two-out RBI-single to left field to plate Rowan, Jr. and extend the lead to 6-2 after four innings of play.
Graham Brown came through in the clutch again in the sixth inning, as the junior laced another two-out base hit, this time driving in two runs to add to the Chants’ lead at 8-2 with three innings to play.
While Maniscalco cruised through the seventh and eighth innings, with the help of a SportsCenter Top 10 double play by the middle infield of McDermott and Eric Brown, the Chants tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on back-to-back singles from Tyler Johnson and Rowan, Jr. to give the home team double-digit runs at 11-2.
Coastal Carolina and South Alabama will play game two of the three-game series on Friday at 6 p.m. ET at Springs Brooks Stadium.
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