Conway, SC (WBTW) — Coastal Carolina baseball had eight players register a hit and three players combine to drive in eight of the 11 runs to lead the Chanticleers to an 11-9 home win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns on Sunday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Chants (27-20-1, 12-11 Sun Belt) and spoiled the Ragin’ Cajuns (22-28, 10-14 Sun Belt) series sweep attempt.
The CCU offense was led by the middle of the order, as designated hitter Jake Wright (1-for-3, HR, 3 BB, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) hit a three-run home run and reached base safely in four of his five plate appearances, while four-hole hitter Zach Biermann (2-for-3, SF, BB, 3 RBIs, run) matched Wright with a game-high three RBIs.
In the five and six spots in the lineup, outfielders Morgan Hyde (2-for-5, RBI, run) andParker Chavers (3-for-4, 2 2B, HBP, RBI) combined to go 5-for-9 with two RBIs.
Louisiana’s offense continued its hot hand on Sunday, as the Ragin’ Cajuns totaled 16 base hits for the game led by Daniel Lahare (4-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBI, 2 runs) and Todd Lott (3-for-6, 2B, RBI, run) who combined for seven base hits on the day.
The Chants rode the left arm of Austin Kitchen (6-3), as the redshirt junior grinded over 5.1 innings, allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on two walks and four strikeouts to earn the win.
The loss goes to Louisiana starter Daniel Horton (1-2) who lasted just 0.2 of an inning with three runs on three hits and a walk.
Louisiana scored first to start the game on a lead-off walk that came around to score on a ground out to the shortstop four batters later to take a 1-0 lead.
Coastal answered right away in the bottom of the first with a little help from the Louisiana defense, as Cory Wood led off the inning with a single to right field. Cameron Pearceyfollowed with an infield hit on a bunt attempt which saw the Louisiana third baseman throw the ball away on the play and allow Wood to score all the way around from first base to tie the game up at 1-1.
Following a walk to Wright, Pearcey, who raced around to third on the throwing error, scored on a sacrifice fly by Biermann to put the Chants up early at 2-1.
Two batters later, Chavers lined a two-out double to right center field to score Wright and give the home team a 3-1 lead after just one inning of play.
The Chants added to their lead in the bottom of the third, plating two runs on a Bradley Riopelle two-out single to center field to extend its lead to four at 5-1.
After Louisiana cut the CCU lead to one at 5-4 with three runs in the top of the fourth, highlighted by a solo home run from Lahare, the Chants answered with a three-spot of their own in the bottom half of the inning on a three-run home run by Wright to put the score at 8-4 going into the fifth inning.
Coastal’s scoring continued in the bottom of the fifth, as Biermann provided a two-out base hit to score two more Chants and push the lead out to six at 10-4.
The Ragin’ Cajuns refused to go away, however, as the visitors scored an unearned run in the sixth and another one in the seventh, both on RBI ground ball outs in the infield, to close the gap to 10-6 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
CCU’s Hyde provided another insurance run with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to give the Chants an 11-6 lead with two innings to play.
In the top of the eighth, the Cajuns took advantage of a hit-by-pitch to start the inning and a double down the left field line that bounced over the third baseman’s head to put runners on second and third with one out.
A wild pitch then allowed the runner to score from third. On the play at the plate, the throw from Riopelle got away from pitcher Trevor Damron (1.1 IP, 1 hit, BB, K) which allowed a second runner to come around and score to put the Cajuns down three at 11-8.
An RBI single from Lahare followed to cut the Coastal lead to 11-9 before Damron closed the inning out with a strikeout, a walk and a fly out to right field to keep the lead intact.
Damron returned to the mound in the bottom of the ninth and quickly got a ground out and line out to Scott McKeon at shortstop to put the Ragin’ Cajuns down to their final out.
The Chants then went to the bullpen for right-handed pitcher Zach McCambley (0.1 IP, K) who struck out LA’s Lott to end the game.
The two teams combined to leave 23 men on base, Louisiana with 12 and Coastal with 11, and 13 walks, nine for the Ragin’ Cajuns’ pitchers and four for the Chants.
Coastal is 9-2 overall under head coach Gary Gilmore in games played on Cinco de Mayo (May 5).
Coastal will return to action next weekend, May 10-12, at UT Arlington in a key cross-divisional Sun Belt Conference matchup.