Mobile, AL. (WBTW) — No. 19 Coastal Carolina baseball recorded five home runs on the day, yet split a Sun Belt Conference doubleheader at South Alabama on Saturday afternoon at Stanky Field. The Chanticleers took game one by a score of 9-4 before dropping game two 8-4.
Alabama native Parker Chavers hit for the cycle on the day, as he was 6-for-8 (.750) with a home run, a triple, a double, three singles, a walk, two RBIs, three runs and three stolen bases to highlight the Chants in the twin bill split.
The Chants are now a combined 4-2 in doubleheader contests this year.
Game 1: No. 19 Coastal Carolina 9, South Alabama 4
The Coastal Carolina offense woke up in a big way in game one of the doubleheader with nine runs on 13 hits in the 9-4 road win in the series opener at South Alabama on Saturday.
The Chants scored six of their nine runs with two outs and were 5-for-13 (.385) with runners in scoring position in the conference win.
Coastal’s offense, which scored nine unanswered runs over the final seven innings of play, was powered by three home runs and three doubles. Catcher Kyle Skeels (2-for-4, 2 HR, BB, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) and Kieton Rivers (1-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs, run) accounted for the three home runs, while Chavers (4-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 runs, 3 SB) reached base five times in the win.
Designated hitter Jake Wright (2-for-4, BB, 2 RBIs, run) drove in two RBIs, while Cory Wood (2-for-6, 2B, run) scored his first run in the last 11 games.
For South Alabama at the plate, Eddie Paparella (2-for-5, HR, 3 RBIs) drove in three runs with a three-run home run in the first inning, while catcher Carter Perkins (1-for-5, RBI) had the lone other RBI in the loss.
Senior right-handed pitcher Matt Eardensohn (4-0) picked up the win out of the bullpen, as he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three in 4.0-scoreless innings. With the win, Eardensohn improves to 11-0 for his career at CCU.
Eardensohn relieved starter Zach McCambley who gave up four runs, all over the first two innings, on eight hits, one walk and five strikeouts in 5.0-complete innings.
The loss fell to Nick Desantis (2-2) who gave up three runs on three hits, a walk and two strikeouts over 1.2 innings of work out of the bullpen.
The Jaguars pounced on the Chanticleers in the first, as Paparella followed back-to-back two-out singles with a three-run home run over the 400-feet sign in straight-away center field to put the home team in front 3-0 after just one inning of play.
Again, the Jaguars would come through with two outs in the second inning, as a walk, a single to center field and an RBI single to left field pushed the South Alabama lead to 4-0.
The Chants got one run back in the top of the third on a two-out RBI single off the bat of Wright, yet stranded two more runners on base to end the top half of the inning down three at 4-1.
After stranding its fifth runner of the game in the fourth, the Chants took advantage of a USA fielding error in the top of the fifth, as Rivers blasted a monster three-run home run over the video board in left field to tie the game up at 4-4 midway through the game.
McCambley, who pitched around two errors in the fourth and two hits in the fifth to leave three USA runners on base, handed the ball over to Eardensohn in the sixth who needed just eight pitches for a 1-2-3 inning.
In the top of the seventh, Chavers lined a ball to shallow left-center field and raced around first and into second with a sliding double. Three pitches later, Skeels muscled a two-run home run over the wall in left field to give the Chants a 6-4 lead heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
While Eardensohn held the Jaguars off the scoreboard over the final three innings of play, Coastal added three insurance runs on an RBI single from Wright in the eighth and another two-run home run from Skeels in the top of the ninth to put the final score at 9-4 in favor of the Chanticleers.
Both teams left 10 runners on base, while the Chants’ duo of McCambley and Eardensohn struck out eight batters compared to just two walks in the nine-inning contest.
With the win, the Chants snapped a three-game losing streak, their longest of the season.
Game 2: South Alabama 8, No. 19 Coastal Carolina 4
Game two played out much like the first, except for the roles of each team were reversed as USA came back from behind to score eight runs over the final seven innings to pick up the 8-4 home win over the Chanticleers.
Getting the start behind the plate, freshman Dallas Callahan (3-for-4, 2B) recorded a career-high three hits in the contest, while Chavers (2-for-4, HR, 3B, 2 RBIs, run), Wright (2-for-5) and Wood (2-for-4, BB, run, SB) all had two hits in the loss. Rivers (1-for-3, BB, SF, RBI, run) and Zach Biermann (1-for-4, HR, RBI, run) each drove in an RBI.
Three players accounted for seven RBIs in the win for the Jaguars in Paparella (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, runs), Dakota Dailey (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and Bennett Shell (1-for-4, 2 RBIs).
CCU starter Austin Kitchen (5-1) was handed his first loss of 2019, as the left-handed pitcher gave up five runs on six hits, three walks and four strikeouts over 4.0 innings.
Reliever Joel Cheatwood (1-0) stole the win allowing one run over 1.2 innings of work, while closer Zach Greene (6) registered his sixth save of the season with seven strikeouts over 3.1-scoreless innings.
Coastal’s bats stayed hot to start game two, as Rivers scored Wood on a sacrifice fly to right field for the first run of the game. Chavers followed with a solo home run to deep center field to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after just one at-bat.
Biermann added to the lead with a solo home run to left field to lead-off the top of the second to extend the Chants’ lead to three at 3-0.
After the Chants left the bases loaded in the top of the third, the Jaguars strung together back-to-back singles with two outs to set up Paparella who hit a three-run shot over the wall in right-center field to tie the game up 3-3 after three innings of play.
The Jaguars continued their two-out scoring with a two-out RBI triple off the wall in left-center field followed by a two-out RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the fourth to give the home team a 5-3 lead heading into the fifth inning of the game.
The Chants got one run back in the next half inning, as Chavers lined a two-out triple into the right field corner to plate Rivers all the way around from first base to cut the USA lead to one at 5-4.
However, the Jaguars ran out to a four-run lead with three runs in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single and an RBI sacrifice bunt that allowed a second run to score all the way from second base to put the score at 8-4 with three innings to go.
Right-handed pitcher Davie Inman (2.1 IP, 4 K) got the Chants out of the sixth with a strikeout and pitched two clean innings over the seventh and eighth, matching his career-high with four strikeouts along the way.
CCU stranded two in the seventh and one in the ninth, as USA’s Green was effective out of the bullpen in the late innings to secure the win for the Jaguars.
Coastal (21-11-1, 7-4 Sun Belt) and South Alabama (14-16, 4-7 Sun Belt) will wrap up the three-game conference series on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET.