Coastal Baseball Powers Past N.C. State, 7-6

CCU defeats NC State, 7-6_1554952722574.JPG.jpg

RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 24 Coastal Carolina used four home runs, including a two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning from Parker Chavers, and struck out 14 NC State batters to defeat the No. 2 Wolfpack 7-6 in an exciting top-25 back-and-forth matchup at Doak Field at Dail Park in Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday night.

The two teams combined for six home runs in the contest with Chavers’ game-winning home run capping off the slugfest.

Coastal improved to 23-11-1 overall on the season and 2-2-1 versus the top-25 with the win, while the loss is the second-straight for the Wolfpack who fall to 29-5 on the year.

With their four home runs on Wednesday night, the Chants are now 12-2 on the season when hitting two or more home runs in a game and have now hit a total of 12 home runs over their last four games.

Chavers (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run), Kieton Rivers (3-for-3, HR, 2B, SF, BB, 3 RBIs, run), Jake Wright (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) and Zach Biermann (1-for-5, HR, RBI, run) all had one home run each in the win, while Raleigh, N.C. natives Cory Wood (2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 runs, SB) and Scott McKeon (2-for-4) each had two base hits on the night.

For NC State offensively, catcher Patrick Bailey (3-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, 2 runs) and Evan Edwards (1-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) each had a home run, while both Tyler McDonough (2-for-3, 2 BB) and Brad Debo (2-for-4, SF, RBI) each had two base hits in the loss.

The Chants used six pitchers in the win, as the group matched CCU’s season-high with 14 strikeouts in the win. Coastal’s pitching staff has now struck out 10 or more batters in 18 different games this season, including in seven of their last 11 contests.

Lefty Trevor Damron (2-0) picked up the win, as he struck out two and walked one over 0.2 innings of work, while Matt Eardensohn (1) recorded his first save of the season by striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth.

NC State threw nine pitchers on the night with the loss going to Kent Klyman (5-1) who gave up the two-run home run to Chavers in the ninth.

Three batters into the game, Wright put the visiting Chanticleers on the scoreboard first with a solo home run over the right field wall, his fourth home run of the season.

However, NCSU got the run back in the bottom half of the first inning on three walks and a hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game up at 1-1 after just one inning of play.

Coastal retook the lead at 2-1 in the top of the third, as Wood hit a ground-rule double to lead off the inning, moved up to third on a ground ball to the right side of the infield by Cameron Pearcey and then scored on a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Rivers.

The Wolfpack tied the score up with one swing of the bat on a solo home run by Bailey to start the third and then took their first lead of the game at 3-2 just four batters later on a Debo sacrifice fly after a walk, single and walk loaded the bases.

CCU’s Biermann quickly erased the home team’s lead with a line drive shot to right field that flew out on a line just inches over the wall for a solo shot to tie the game back up at 3-3. The home run was the first baseman’s seventh of the season.

The Chants looked to retake the lead in the same inning as Wright hit a shot back up the middle with runners on first and second. However, the ball hit off the back foot of the pitcher and rolled towards first base where the Wolfpack picked it up and got him out at first base to end the top half of the inning tied at 3-3.

In their next at-bat, the Chants did pull back out in front as Rivers launched a solo home run to right field to put the score at 4-3, only to see the back-and-forth scoring continue with the home-standing Wolfpack knotting the game back up once again at 4-4 on an RBI double-play ball in the bottom half of the inning.

In the sixth inning, the scoring continued as Rivers ripped a two-out RBI single up the middle to again give the Chants a one-run lead at 5-4, before NCSU’s Edwards hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning to put the Wolfpack back in front by one at 6-5.

The two bullpens settled in late in the contest to halt the scoring until the top of the ninth as Chavers put a blast into a ball that sailed way over the wall in right field for a two-run shot to put the Chants in front 7-6 with three outs to go.

Eardensohn would enter the game and strike out the side in the bottom of the ninth to seal the one-run road win for the Chants.

Coastal (23-11-1, 8-4 Sun Belt) will continue its road trip this weekend at Little Rock (14-19, 7-5 Sun Belt) for a three-game conference series. Due to a threat of inclement weather, the two teams are now scheduled to play a doubleheader on Friday, April 12, with the first game beginning at 3 p.m. ET/2 p.m. CT. There will not be a game played on Saturday, April 13, and the series finale on Sunday, April 14, has been moved up to Noon ET/11 a.m. CT. 

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