McDermott hits for the cycle; Chants defeat Coppin State, 10-8 in NCAA Regional
Coastal will return to the field tomorrow at 1 p.m. versus Virginia
GREENVILLE, N.C. – Coastal Carolina’s Matt McDermott hit for the cycle as the Chanticleers scored 10 runs on 11 base hits to defeat the Coppin State Eagles 10-8 in the first elimination game of the NCAA Greenville Regional on Saturday afternoon in Greenville, N.C.
McDermott had a single in the third inning, a double in the fourth, a solo home run in the sixth, and a triple in the seventh to complete the cycle. He became the first Chanticleer to hit for the cycle since Tommy La Stella at Charleston Southern in March 2010.
On top of McDermott’s 4-for-4 day (HR, 3B, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 runs, SB), Graham Brown (2-for-2, 2B, HBP, BB, RBI, 2 runs) stayed hot with two base hits on the day, while fellow outfielder Austin White (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, run, SB) also had two base knocks and an RBI in the win.
Shortstop Eric Brown (1-for-3, 2 RBIs, HBP) drove in two RBIs, while fellow infielder Christopher Rowan, Jr. (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) had a solo home run.
For Coppin State offensively, Brian Nicolas (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) had a two-run home run in the second inning, while MEAC Freshman of the Year Josh Hankins (1-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs, run) hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to make things interesting.
Coastal super senior reliever Elliot Carney (2-1) picked up the win out of the bullpen, as the veteran right-hander threw 3.2-scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out five hitters.
Making the spot start for the Chanticleers on Saturday was junior Jonathan Blackwell, as the lefty had a career day, allowing just two runs on two hits, two walks, and a career-high four strikeouts over a career-high 4.0-complete innings on the mound.
Taking the loss for the Eagles was starter Tyler Nichol (2-3), as the right-handed hurler gave up six runs on eight hits, three walks, and one strikeout over 4.1 innings pitched.
The Chanticleers got off to a hot start in the elimination contest, as Blackwell pitched around a walk in the top of the first by striking out the side, while the offense picked up back-to-back base hits from White and Eric Brown in the bottom of the inning with the latter an RBI-single to plate White and put the home team on top 1-0 early.
The Eagles took advantage of a two-walk in the top of the second, as Nicolas blasted a two-run home run into the crowd in left-center field to put the visitors in Gold in front for the first time of the game at 2-1.
Coastal looked to get a run back in the bottom half of the second inning but saw a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play end the inning and keep the Eagles in front by one heading into the third inning of play.
CCU went to “Gilley ball” in the bottom of the third, as McDermott led off the inning with a single and stole second base. Following a sacrifice bunt by White to move McDermott up to third, Eric Brown had an RBI-ground out to the left side of the infield to drive in his second run of the day and tie the game up at 2-2.
After Blackwell pitched around a lead-off single in the fourth, the Coastal offense struck again, this time plating three runs in the bottom half of the inning to retake the lead at 5-2.
Lucky started the inning with his second walk of the game and then motored all the way around from first base on a double down the left-field line by Graham Brown to put the Chants in front by one at 3-2.
Catcher Kameron Guangorena followed with a single to center field, which coupled with an error by the Coppin State outfielder, allowed Graham Brown to score and double the lead to 4-2 with just one out in the inning.
McDermott continued the inning with a double to left field, his second hit of the day, to put runners on second and third for the top of the order. A ground ball to the right side of the infield by White would drive in Guangorena from third base to cap the inning and put the home team up three heading into the top of the fifth frame.
CCU and Carney found themselves in some trouble in the top of the fifth, as the Eagles put runners on the corners with one out. However, a pop-up to shallow center field was chased down by the second baseman McDermott who then came up firing a rocket to the plate to a waiting Guangorena to tag the runner trying to score from third to end the inning and keep the home team in front at 5-2.
The Chants added to the lead in each of the next two innings by way of a solo home, as Rowan, Jr. blasted his seventh of the season in the fifth inning, while McDermott followed with his sixth home run in the sixth inning to extend the lead to five at 7-2 going into the seventh inning.
Coastal continued its scoring pace in the seventh inning, as Dale Thomas drew a two-out walk, stole second, and then moved up to third on a wild pitch before walking in from third on another wild pitch to push the lead to 8-2.
Following back-to-back walks to Graham Brown and Guangorena, McDermott lined a ball into the right-center gap to clear the bases and race around to third for the triple to complete the cycle and give the Chants a huge 10-2 lead.
The insurance runs in the seventh inning were proved to be vital, as the Eagles refused to go down without a fight, scoring six runs in the top of the ninth.
After CSU loaded the bases on an infield single, walk, and single through the right side, a hit-by-pitch moved everyone up 90-feet to score the first run in the inning.
Two batters later, after a line drive was snagged up the middle by McDermott for out number one in the inning, two wild pitches allowed two more runners to score to cut the Chants’ lead to five at 10-5.
Following a pop-up on the infield for out number two, Hankins hit the first pitch he saw into the trees in left field for a three-run home run to put the score at 10-8.
Coppin State put the tying runs on base by way of a hit-by-pitch and single before a ground ball in the hole at shortstop was fielded and flipped to third base by Eric Brown for the final out of the game and seal the 10-8 win for the Chanticleers.
Coastal left seven guys stranded on base, giving them 15 stranded runners over their first two games at the NCAA Greenville Regional, while Coppin State left six runners on base for the contest.
Coastal Carolina (37-19-1) will play No. 2 Virginia Sunday at 1 p.m. ET in another elimination game of the 2022 NCAA Greenville Regional.
Copyright 2022 WMBF. All rights reserved.