Coastal Baseball Falls on the Road to Illinois, 4-2

College Sports
Coastal Falls to Illinois, 4-2_1554260653753.JPG.jpg

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Coastal Carolina baseball saw a four-run first inning by Illinois prove to be the difference, as the Fighting Illini held on for a 4-2 non-conference home win over the No. 19 Chanticleers on Tuesday night at Illinois Field in Champaign, Ill.

After surrendering four runs on a walk and four base hits in the first, CCU’s Anthony Veneziano (3-1) settled down to allow just more three hits and strike out three over the next 5.0-complete innings but didn’t get enough run support to pick up the loss.

The win went to Illinois’ Josh Harris (2-1) as the home team used six pitchers in the contest. Harris entered the game with the bases loaded and got the Illini out of the inning unharmed in the fifth.

The save went to Illinois’ closer Garrett Action (9) who pitched around two walks in the ninth and was aided by a 1-6-3 double-play to keep the Chants off the scoreboard in their final at-bat.

Offensively, the Chants registered just seven hits on the night led by Scott McKeon (2-for-4, run), Jake Wright(2-for-4) and Cameron Pearcey (1-for-3, 2B, BB, RBI, SB).

The Illini also had seven hits for the game, as Branden Comia (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) hit a two-run home run, while both Jack Yalowitz (0-for-2, 2 BB, RBI) and Grant Van Scoy (1-for-4, RBI) each drove in an RBI in the win.

Illinois wasted no time getting on the scoreboard first, as the home team pushed across four runs on four hits and a walk in the bottom of the first, highlighted by a two-run home run from Comia just two batters into the frame.

After going down in order 1-2-3 in each of the first two innings, the Chants started off the top of the third with a single from McKeon. Two batters later, Pearcey ripped a double just inside the third base bag for a stand-up double and scored McKeon all the way around from first base to put the visitors down 4-1 midway through the third inning.

The Chants continued to chip away at the Fighting Illini lead, as Coastal cut the deficit to two at 4-2 with an RBI ground out off the bat of Mike Koenig in the top of the fourth to score Parker Chavers from third.

With Veneziano pitching around two hits in the third and one base knock in the fourth, stranding all three base runners, the Chants loaded the bases in the top of the fifth but left the bases juiced to send the game to the bottom of the fifth with the Illini leading 4-2.

The junior hurler for the Chants settled in after the first inning and closed out his night with back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the fifth and sixth frames to keep Coastal in striking distance at 4-2 with three innings to play.

The duo of Veneziano and Alaska Abney (1.0 IP, K) sent down 12-straight batters combined over the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh innings, while Jay Causey (1.0 IP, 2 BB) pitched around two walks and two stolen bases to keep the Chants in the contest at 4-2.

However, the Chants’ offense couldn’t string a series of base hits together, as the visitors stranded three runners on base in both the third and fifth innings, and one runner on in the fourth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings to strand 11 on the pond for the game.

Coastal (20-9-1) and Illinois (18-8) will play again tomorrow night with first pitch set for 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. ET from Illinois Field.

For complete coverage of CCU baseball, follow the Chants on social media @CoastalBaseball (Twitter), facebook.com/CCUChanticleers (Facebook), @GoCCUsports (Instagram) or visit the official home of Coastal Carolina Athletics at www.GoCCUsports.com.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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