Conway, SC (WBTW) — No. 16 Coastal Carolina outhit the Troy Trojans 16-12 for the contest, yet saw a six-run third inning by the visiting Trojans highlighted by two home runs prove to be the difference in a 10-8 loss on Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C.
Coastal took the first two games of the series with wins on Friday and Saturday to record its fourth-straight Sun Belt Conference series win dating back to last season. The Chants are now 18-5-1 overall and 5-1 in Sun Belt play.
Offensively, the Chants had eight different players record a hit on the day with six of those players registering multiple hits for the game. However, the Chants stranded 12 runners on base over the nine-inning contest and committed four errors in the field.
Senior outfielder Kieton Rivers (3-for-4, 3B, 2B, BB, RBI, 2 runs) and shortstop Scott McKeon (3-for-5, 2B, run) each had three hits apiece, while outfielder Jake Wright (2-for-5, 2 RBIs), designated hitter Parker Chavers (2-for-5, 2 runs), infielder Nick Lucky (2-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and fellow outfielder Cameron Pearcey (2-for-4, RBI) all had two hits each in the loss.
Troy totaled 12 base hits on the day highlighted by a grand slam from center fielder Logan Cerny (1-for-5, GS, 4 RBIs, 2 runs, SB) and a two-run home run from shortstop Drew Frederic (3-for-4, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), both of which came in the six-run third inning.
CCU freshman Garrett McDaniels (0-1) suffered the first loss of his young career, as the left-handed pitcher had just one bad inning. He was roughed up for six runs, all in the third inning, on seven hits, one walk and two strikeouts over 3.0 innings.
On the other side, the Trojans’ spot starter Cory Gill (1-1) picked up his first win of the year, surrendering just four runs on nine hits, two walks and just one strikeout in 6.0 innings on the mound.
The Chants got on the scoreboard first with a McKeon double and an RBI ground out fromZach Biermann in the first and then added two more runs in the bottom of the second on a Pearcey RBI single and an RBI hit-by-pitch from Wright with the bases loaded to take a 3-0 lead after two innings of play.
However, Troy used the long ball in the top of the third, as Frederic hit a two-run home run to start the scoring in the frame, while a single, walk and bunt single loaded the bases for Cerny’s grand slam to left field to push the Trojans in front 6-3 midway through the third.
After Troy scored an unearned run with the help of a CCU throwing error in the top of the fourth, the Chants got one run back on a two-out RBI single by Wright in the bottom half of the inning to put the score at 7-4 in favor of the visitors in red.
Troy took advantage of two more errors by the Chants in the next inning to increase its lead to five at 8-4 on an RBI bunt single.
Coastal cut the lead in half at 8-6 with two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a Lucky RBI single and an RBI ground out to the right side of the infield from Cory Wood, only to see the Trojans score two more runs of its own in the top of the eighth on an RBI double from catcher Chase Smartt and an RBI single by Manning Early to push the lead back out to four at 10-6.
Following back-to-back one-out singles from Kyle Skeels and Chavers in the bottom of the eighth, Rivers lined a double into the left-field corner to score Skeels and put runners on second and third for the home team. Lucky followed with a deep sacrifice fly to left field to plate Chavers and trim the Troy lead back to two at 10-8.
However, the Chants were unable to get anything going in the ninth to allow the Trojans to hold on for the 10-8 conference road win.
The loss snapped the Chants’ overall winning streak at five and CCU’s winning streak over the Trojans at five-straight games.
Coastal (18-5-1) will play the first of back-to-back midweek contests versus UNCW (14-10) on Tuesday, March 26, at 6 p.m. ET in Wilmington, N.C.