Coastal Carolina’s season ends with loss to ECU in Regional Title Game

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 5:58 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. – Playing in their fourth elimination game in three days and the fifth game in four days, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers were unable to dig out of an early hole and fell to the top-seeded and No. 8 nationally-ranked East Carolina Pirates 13-4 in the second NCAA Greenville Regional Championship game on Monday afternoon in Greenville, N.C.

Coastal’s season comes to an end at 39-20-1 overall. The Chanticleers closed out the season going 22-7 over their final 29 games and posted wins over six NCAA Regional teams in Central Michigan, Wake Forest, Texas State, Georgia Southern, Virginia, and East Carolina.

East Carolina improved to 45-19 on the season and advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals.

Nick Lucky, Christopher Rowan, Jr., Matt McDermott, and Nick Parker were all named to the 2022 NCAA Greenville Regional All-Tournament team.

Pitching on just two days’ rest, redshirt senior Reid VanScoter (9-4) took the ball for the Chanticleers but was saddled with the loss. The 2022 Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year gave up two runs, on two hits, one walk, and two strikeouts in 2.0-complete innings.

ECU’s Carter Spivey (8-0) picked up the win for the Pirates. The 2022 American Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year also allowed two runs but on just three hits, no walks, and five strikeouts over 5.0-complete innings.

The Coastal offense, which totaled 16 runs over two games on Sunday, ran out of gas on Monday, as the Chanticleers had just four runs on six hits in the loss.

Four-year Chant Lucky (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) had a two-run home run, while Johnson (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) added a two-run shot in the ninth inning to push his on-base streak to 31 consecutive games. Fellow Chants Eric Brown (2-for-4, run) and Rowan, Jr. (1-for-3, BB, run) combined for the other three base hits on the day.

For the Pirates, who had won 20-straight games until losing to the Chanticleers on Sunday night, Bryson Worrell (4-for-4, HR, 3B, BB, 4 RBIs, 4 runs) was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, while fellow outfielder Jacob Jenkins-Cowart (3-for-4, SF, 3 RBIs) drove in three RBIs.

After scoring just one run in the ninth inning on Sunday night, the Pirates got on the scoreboard early in Monday afternoon’s rematch, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning on a lead-off walk, an RBI-triple, and a sacrifice fly to left field to take an early 2-0 lead.

Coastal looked to get a run back in the top of the second with a lead-off single up the middle from Rowan, Jr., yet was unable to string together any more offense and left a runner stranded in the frame.

However, it would be the Pirates who would strike next, as the home team took advantage of a lead-off single, a ground out, a walk, and a two-run single down the right-field line to plate two more runs and double their lead at 4-0 through the first three innings of play.

Refusing to go away, the Chanticleers went back to what got them to Monday, as Lucky launched his third home run of the NCAA Regional and eighth of the season into the fans behind the right-field wall in the top of the fourth inning to cut the Pirates’ lead in half at 4-2.

After pitching out of trouble and both the fourth and fifth innings, the Chanticleers’ bullpen gave up a two-out RBI-base hit in the bottom of the sixth inning to allow the Pirates to extend their lead to three at 5-2 with three innings to play.

With the Chanticleers’ gas tanks running low, the Pirates put the game away with an eight-run seventh inning, highlighted by a three-run home run off the bat of Worrell to pull away with a 13-2 lead.

CCU’s Johnson provided the final runs in the game with a two-run opposite-field home run in the top of the ninth inning to put the final score at 13-4.

The 2022 NCAA Greenville Regional was the 18th NCAA Regional postseason appearance for the Chanticleers and the third since winning the 2016 College World Series National Championship (2018, 2019, and 2021).