Long ball dooms No. 17 Chants in road loss at Old Dominion

(Coastal Athletic Media)
Published: Apr. 15, 2023 at 9:47 AM EDT
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NORFOLK, Va. – The top-two offenses in the Sun Belt Conference did not disappoint on Friday night, as the No. 17 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers fell on the road to Old Dominion 8-5 in Norfolk, Va. The Chanticleers and Monarchs combined for 13 runs on 23 base hits, highlighted by five home runs and nine doubles in the series opener.

CCU’s offense was led by freshman catcher Caden Bodine (2-for-4, HR, SF, 2 RBIs, run) with a team-high two RBIs, senior outfielder Graham Brown (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 BB) with two doubles, and senior first baseman Zack Beach (2-for-3, 2B, BB, HBP, RBI, run) with a double and an RBI.

ODU’s high-powered offense was led by Kenny Levari (2-for-3, HR, 2B, BB, HBP, RBI, 2 runs), Chris Dengler (2-for-3, HR, BB, RBI, run), Alex Bouche (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), and Luke Waters (1-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, run), who all homered in the win.

Both teams left double-digit runners on base, as Coastal stranded 13 base runners and Old Dominion left 11 on base.

The loss went to Coastal starter Matthew Potok (2-2), as the sophomore hurler gave up seven runs on 11 hits, zero walks, and seven strikeouts over 4.0-plus innings of work.

Picking up the win for the Monarchs on the mound was reliever John Holobetz (2-1), who allowed just three hits, two walks, and struck out four Coastal hitters over 3.0-scoreless innings.

Securing the save was Robert Cook (3), as the ODU closer pitched around a one-out walk and double to strike out the tying run at the plate to end the game in the ninth.

The Chanticleers started the scoring with a solo home run from Bodine, who missed the last five games due to an injury, in the top of the first inning to put the visitors in front 1-0.

Coastal added to its lead in the top of the second inning by way of two singles and an Old Dominion fielding error to go up 2-0 before Orlando Pena laced a double down the left-field line to drive in another run to push the lead to 3-0 midway through the second inning.

However, the Monarchs showed why they lead the Sun Belt Conference in home runs in the bottom of the third inning, as the home team led off the frame with back-to-back solo home runs from Dengler and Waters to cut the Chants’ lead to one at 3-2.

Following a single and a fly out, Bouche hit the third home run of the inning for the Monarchs, this one a two-run shot, to put the home team in front for the first time in the game at 4-3.

ODU tacked on one more run in the third inning on back-to-back doubles by Levari and Tyler Wheeler to extend the lead to 5-3 heading into the fourth inning of play.

After both teams stranded one runner on base in the fourth, the Chanticleers’ offense struck again in the top of the fifth inning with the help of three hit-by-pitches, a walk, and a throwing error. Bodine drove in his second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly, while four batters later Beach was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in another Coastal run to tie the game up at 5-5.

The back-and-forth scoring continued in the bottom half of the inning, as the Monarchs pulled back out in front on a Jake Ticer RBI double and on the help of a hit-by-pitch and two walks to put the score at 7-5 midway through the contest.

The Chants put runners on base in each of the last four innings, yet stranded seven runners over the final frames while ODU added a solo home run in the bottom half of the seventh inning for the final score of 8-5.

Coastal (21-11, 9-4 Sun Belt) and Old Dominion (24-9, 9-4 Sun Belt) will play game two of the three-game series Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.