Conway, SC (WBTW) — Coastal Carolina baseball set a new Sun Belt Baseball Championship single-game record with 26 runs scored and blasted five home runs for the second-straight game to defeat the ULM Warhawks 26-10 in another elimination game for the Chanticleers on Semifinals Saturday at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The 36 combined runs between the two teams set a new Sun Belt Tournament record, surpassing the previous mark of 34 set back in 2010. CCU’s 26 runs in the win eclipsed the previous mark of 22 set by Jacksonville back in 1994.
Coastal once again hit five home runs as a team for the second-straight game which tied the Sun Belt Championship single-game record which has now been set eight different times.
The Chants have blasted 14 home runs over their four tournament games this week which is just one off the conference tournament record of 15 held by Troy in 2010.
CCU’s 26 runs are the second-most in a single game this season, behind a 27-run barrage in a 27-2 run over Georgia State on April 26 and tied its season-high in base hits with 21.
CCU’s offensive explosion was led by sophomore Parker Chavers (5-for-5, SF, 2 RBIs, 3 runs), which tied the record for most hits in a game by a player in Sun Belt Tournament history. Jake Wright (3-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 3 runs) and Kieton Rivers (3-for-6, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 4 runs) each recorded two home runs and five RBIs in the win, while Cameron Pearcey (1-for-2, GS, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) hit his first career grand slam in the ninth inning to cap off the record-setting game.
Zach Biermann (3-for-5, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, 2 runs) continued his torrid pace at the plate with three more base hits, while Scott McKeon (2-for-6, 3B, BB, 2 RBIs, 3 runs) and Nick Lucky (2-for-3, BB, 3 runs) each had two base hits.
With Rivers and Wright each recording two home runs in the win, Coastal has had a player post two home runs or more in a single game this season a total of nine times.
While the offense took over late in the game, it was senior right-handed pitcher Matt Eardensohn (6-1) that was the difference maker in the win. The relief pitcher entered the game after a 58-minute lightning delay with two runners on in the bottom of the fifth and proceeded to send down nine-straight ULM hitters. He picked up the win by allowing just one run on two hits and five strikeouts over 5.0-complete innings.
The Chants trio of Austin Kitchen (3.2 IP, 11 hits, 9 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 6 K), Kiernan Higgins(0.1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) and Eardensohn combined to strike out 12 ULM hitters and walked just three.
ULM scored nine runs over the first four innings, before being held to just one run over the final five innings of play in the loss.
Eight different Warhawks had a hit in the game led by designated hitter Blake Buckman (3-for-3, 2 RBIs, run) and outfielder Ryan Humeniuk (2-for-5, 3B, 2B, 3 RBIs, run).
The loss fell to reliever Justin Barton (0-1) as he walked one batter and hit a batter in his outing.
The ULM pitching staff combined to walk 13 batters and strike out just six in the nine-inning contest.
ULM scored first in the bottom of the first inning, as the lead-off hitter reached base on an error in left field and then came around to score two batters later on an RBI single from Chad Bell to put the Warhawks on top 1-0.
The Chants got the run back in the next half inning on an RBI single to left-center field off the bat of Chavers to knot the game back up at 1-1 midway through the second.
The scoring continued in the bottom of the second as the Warhawks strung together three-straight singles to load the bases. A wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to center field scored back-to-back runs for the home team to push ULM back out in front at 3-1.
Again the Chants had an answer in their next at-bat, this time with a little help from the Warhawks’ defense as back-to-back singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out. After a throwing error loaded the bases, a fielding error at shortstop on a sharp ground ball by Cory Wood scored two Chants to tie the game back up at 5-5 after four and a half innings played.
However, the hot-hitting Warhawks continued its scoring pace with a four-spot in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single in the hole at shortstop by Andrew Beesley, a two-run triple from Humeniuk and an RBI single to center off the bat of Buckman to push the ULM lead out to four at 9-5. All three run-scoring base hits came with two outs in the inning.
Following a 58-minute lightning delay, Eardensohn took the mound for the Chants and made an immediate impact, stranding two ULM runners and retiring the first three of nine-straight batters to keep the score at 9-5.
The Chants quickly responded with another two-spot, this time by way of a two-run home run off the bat of Rivers to cut the ULM lead in half at 9-6 midway through six innings of play.
After Eardensohn retired the side in order in the bottom of the sixth, the Chants took the lead on a bases-loaded walk to Wood, followed by a Wright two-run single in the top of the seventh to put Coastal in front for the first time in the game at 10-9.
Coastal ran away with the game over the next two innings, matching its season-high with nine runs in the eighth and seven more in the ninth to pull away for the blowout win.
Four of the Chants’ nine runs in the eighth came off of four bases-loaded walks. Rivers had a two-run single, Chavers registered a sacrifice fly and McKeon ripped a two-run triple to add to the CCU lead.
The ninth was capped off with back-to-back home runs from Rivers and Wright, an RBI single by pinch hitter Dallas Callahan and a grand slam to left field from Pearcey.