CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The No. 19 nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers improved to 13-0 on the season when scoring double-digit runs, as the Chants came from behind to beat the No. 13 nationally-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels 12-7 on Tuesday night at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
CCU moved to 15-7 overall on the season, while North Carolina fell to 18-7 on the year. It was the first midweek loss of the season for the Tar Heels.
With the win, the Chants also improved to 3-1 overall versus nationally-ranked top-25 programs this season and 2-1 versus teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).
The Coastal offense was powered by three base hits each from the middle of the order in freshman Caden Bodine (3-for-6, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, SB) and sophomore Derek Bender (3-for-5, 2B, RBI, run), while super senior Nick Lucky (2-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, 2 runs) and freshman Blake Barthol (2-for-4, HR, 2B, HBP, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) both had opposite-field solo home runs.
With the two home runs on Tuesday, the Chants moved to 11-2 on the season when hitting two or more home runs in a game.
The win went to reliever Teddy Sharkey (3-0), as the junior right-handed hurler pitched 2.1-scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out two hitters to get the final seven outs of the game.
Coastal starting pitcher Levi Huesman was hot and cold on the mound on Tuesday, as the freshman lefty threw 4.0-hitless innings yet gave up three runs, one of which was earned, on three walks, three hit batters, and one strikeout.
Refusing to go away, the Chanticleers battled back in the top of the eighth with another big inning, putting up eight runs in the frame to blow back into the lead at 12-7.
Lucky got things going with a solo home run to left field, his fourth long ball of the season. After a walk and a hit-by-pitch put runners on first and second with one out, Barthol slapped a double down the left-field line to plate Brown from second to trim the North Carolina lead to one at 7-6.
The inning continued with back-to-back walks, with the second one to pinch hitter Zack Beach with the bases loaded to force in the tying run and keep the bases loaded.
The offense took over again from there, as Bodine laced a single off the back foot of the UNC pitcher and into right field to score two more Chants and push the visitors in front at 9-7.
Bender and Tanner Garrison continued the rally with back-to-back doubles, with Bender driving in one run and Garrison scoring two more, to extend the visitors’ lead to 12-7 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
Sharkey shut the door on the Tar Heels as he pitched around a lead-off single in the bottom of the eighth and then stranded two more base runners in the bottom of the ninth to send the Chants home with the 12-7 midweek road win.
Coastal (15-7, 4-2 Sun Belt) will remain on the road to face off with the Georgia State Panthers (13-11, 4-2 Sun Belt) for a three-game series in Atlanta, Ga., on March 31-April 2.