No. 8/10 Chants take series with 20-7 win over No. 23/24 Southern Miss
CONWAY, S.C. – For the third straight game and the fourth time in the last five games, the Coastal Carolina offense exploded for double-digit runs, scoring 20 runs in a 20-7 blowout win of No. 23/24 Southern Miss on Saturday afternoon to take the Sun Belt Conference series win in Conway, S.C.
The win pushed Coastal to 26-11 overall and 13-4 in conference play, while with the loss, USM fell to 22-15 overall and 10-7 in league action.
With the win, the Chants have won 12 straight Sun Belt Conference series dating back to April 8-10 of last year and have not dropped a three-game weekend series this season.
With the 20-run outburst, CCU improved to 21-0 on the season when scoring 10 runs or more in a game.
For the fifth-straight game, the Men in Teal blasted two home runs or more, hitting three on Saturday, to improve to 20-3 overall on the season when hitting multiple home runs in the game.
While both teams hit .378 (14-for-37) overall, the difference again came with runners on base, as Coastal hit .409 (9-for-22), while the Golden Eagles hit .333 (7-for-21). The Chants also hit better with runners in scoring position, hitting .333 (5-for-15) compared to USM’s .308 (4-for-13).
The Chants had only 14 hits on the game but took advantage of 10 walks and four hit batters.
Seven different Chants had multiple RBIs, led by senior first baseman Zack Beach (3-for-3, GS, 2 BB, 4 RBIs, 3 runs) with his four RBIs on a grand slam, his third of the season. Sophomore third baseman Orlando Pena (2-for-4, HR, BB, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) and super senior outfielder Nick Lucky (1-for-4, HR, 2 BB, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) each had a home run and drove in three RBIs, while sophomore infielder Ty Dooley (1-for-5, 2B, HBP, 3 RBIs, run) also drove in three runs in the win.
The Golden Eagles’ offense matched the Chants with 14 base hits but drew just five walks and did not hit a home run in the loss.
Southern Miss outfielder Carson Paetow (2-for-4, 3 RBIs, run) drove in a team-high three RBIs, while clean-up hitter Christopher Sargent (1-for-4, BB, 2 RBIs) drove in two runs. The top three hitters in the order in Matthew Etzel (3-for-5, RBI, run), Dustin Dickerson (2-for-5, 2B), and Slade Wilks (3-for-5, 2B, run) combined to go 8-for-15 at the plate for the game.
CCU reliever Darin Horn (2-1) picked up the win out of the bullpen, as the righty entered the game in the fourth inning and gave up one run on three hits in 1.0 inning of work.
Taking the loss was USM starter Billy Oldham (3-2), as he was beaten up for 10 runs on six hits, two walks, three hit batters, and one strikeout in over 1.0 inning of action.
From the first inning, the Chants led in the series-clinching win, as Coastal posted five runs in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI double from Caden Bodine, a two-run home run by Lucky, and a two-run double off the bat of Dooley to take an early 5-0 lead.
After starter Jacob Morrison (3.0 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) pitched around two walks with the strikeouts in the top of the second inning, the Coastal offense blew the game open with an eight-run second frame to take a commanding 13-0 lead.
In the big inning, the Chants took advantage of six walks, three of which came with the bases loaded, and three hit batters, two of which forced in two more runs, while Pena added a two-run single over the head of the third baseman.
However, the Golden Eagles did not go down without a fight, as the visitors in black scored the next seven runs, highlighted by a five-run fourth inning with three RBI singles to cut the Chanticleers’ lead to six at 13-7 halfway through the contest.
Coastal answered with another big inning in the bottom of the sixth inning, plating six more runs on a Derek Bender sacrifice fly, a Chad Born bases-loaded walk, and a grand slam from Beach to push the lead back out to double digits at 19-7 with three innings to play.
Pena got the Chants to the 20 runs mark with a solo home run to start the bottom of the seventh inning, giving the Men in Teal 20 runs for the second time this season and only behind their season-high 26 runs in the home win over Davidson on March 4.
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