No. 7/8 Coastal Carolina baseball falls at home to App State

(Bob McCool / CCU Athletics)
Published: May. 6, 2023 at 10:31 AM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. – For the first time in exactly 14 months, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers were shut out as the Appalachian State Mountaineers defeated No. 7/8 Coastal Carolina 11-0 on Friday night in the Sun Belt Conference series opener at Springs Brooks Stadium.

The Chanticleers had not been shut out since falling on the road at then-No. 21 North Carolina 4-0 on March 5, 2022, last year.

On top of being shut out, Coastal was held to a season-low one hit and struck out 15 times.

Entering the contest, the Chants had not been held under five hits all season long and were last held to just one hit in a 7-0 road loss at Louisiana on March 29, 2021.

The difference in the contest was App State starting pitcher Xander Hamilton (8-2), who moved to 8-2 on the season with the win. The right-handed hurler held Coastal’s high-powered offense to just one hit and six walks while striking out 15 hitters over 8.0-scoreless innings.

Coastal’s lone hit of the game came in the fourth inning off the bat of freshman catcher Caden Bodine (1-for-3), while only four other Chants reached base in Payton Eeles (0-for-1, 2 BB), Tanner Garrison (0-for-0, BB), Nick Lucky (0-for-3, BB), and Blake Barthol (0-for-1, 2 BB).

App State had eight different players record at least one hit on the night, led by lead-off hitter CJ Boyd (4-for-5, 3 2B, BB, RBI, 4 runs) and his game-high four base hits and four runs scored.

Three Mountaineers homered in the win, one each from Hayden Cross (2-for-5, HR, BB, RBI, 2 runs), Alex Reed (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, run), and Golston Gillespie (1-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, run).

Suffering the first loss of his young career was true freshman Jacob Morrison (6-1), as the right-handed pitcher gave up six runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over 2.2 innings of work.

The Mountaineers set the tone early, as the visitors in black scored an unearned run with the help of a Coastal throwing error in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly and then used a 5-4-3 double play in the bottom half of the inning to squash the Chanticleers’ scoring chance and take a 1-0 lead after one inning of play.

App State continued its scoring with two runs in the second inning on three-straight two-out hit base hits and added two more runs in the top of the third on a pair of solo home runs by Cross and Reed to take a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning.

Coastal’s offense drew a walk in both the second and third innings and picked up a lead-off single in the fourth inning from Bodine, only to strand the runner on base in each of the three frames to trail 6-0 heading into the fifth inning of play.

The visitors in black and gold extended their lead with an RBI single in the fifth and two more RBI base hits in the sixth to pull out to an 8-0 lead midway through the sixth inning.

After the Chants stranded a runner on base in the bottom of the sixth, App State hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth and added a run on a double and another Coastal throwing error in the top of the ninth inning to put the final score at 11-0.

CCU’s offense stranded six runners on base, none getting past second base for the game, and made three errors in the field, which led to two unearned runs for the Mountaineers.

The Chants (28-16, 15-7 Sun Belt) and Appalachian State (23-19, 12-9 Sun Belt) will play game two of the three-game conference series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET.