Wilmington, N.C. – No. 10 Coastal Carolina got a two-out RBI single in the top of the ninth from senior outfielder Kieton Rivers to tie the game up at 4-4, only to see the home-standing UNCW Seahawks walk-off with a one-out RBI single in the bottom of the inning to edge the Chanticleers 5-4 at Brooks Field in Wilmington, N.C. on Tuesday night.
In the first start of his CCU career, freshman pitcher Nick Parker allowed three runs on four hits, two walks and a career-high five strikeouts over a career-high 4.0 innings in the no-decision.
Hurlers Matt Eardensohn (2.0 IP, 3 K) and Dylan Gentry (1.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB) kept the Chants in the game over the next three-plus innings out of the bullpen, as runs were hard to come by.
Freshman Alaska Abney (1-2), who had a win and a save over the weekend versus Troy, was saddled with the loss as he gave up an unearned run on three hits and two strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work after pitching out of trouble in the eighth.
Offensively, the Chants had nine base hits led by outfielder Cameron Pearcey (3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, run), Rivers (2-for-3, BB, RBI, run, 2 SB) and catcher Dallas Callahan (1-for-3, RBI). However, Coastal was just 5-for-20 at the plate with runners on base and stranded 11 runners in the loss.
UNCW used six pitchers on the night with number six Henry Ryan (3-2) receiving the win. The tall righty gave up the tying run in the ninth but struck out three over 1.1 innings.
The Seahawks offense also tallied nine hits on the night led by Greg Jones (2-for-3, BB, RBI, run, 4 SB) and Kep Brown (1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, run). Doug Angeli (2-for-4, RBI) had the game-winning walk-off single in the ninth.
Coastal struck first in the top of the third, as Pearcey lined a one-out double to center field which was kept in the ballpark by the leaping UNCW center fielder who made a great effort on the ball up against the wall. Callahan followed with a 10-hit at-bat in which he ripped the 10th pitch up the middle and into center field for his first career RBI to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
However, UNCW abruptly answered in the bottom half of the third on a one-out double from Jackson Meadows, a wild pitch and a two-out RBI triple off the bat of Cole Weiss just out of the reach of a diving Jake Wright in right field to knot the game up at 1-
1 after three innings of play.
The Seahawks took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth, as Brown lined a two-run home run over the wall in center field to put the home team in front 3-1 heading into the fifth.
The Chants looked to get one run back in the top of the fifth with a lead-off double but saw a strikeout and a running mistake on the base paths squash their scoring chance and keep the UNCW lead at two at 3-1.
After Eardensohn stranded two UNCW runners on base in the bottom of the fifth, Coastal took advantage of two walks and three singles, including RBI base hits from Parker Chavers and Pearcey to tie the game up once again at 3-3 midway through the sixth inning.
UNCW looked to retake the lead in the bottom of the seventh, as the Seahawks got back-to-back walks to put runners on first and second with just one out. However, Gentry got a tailor-made 4-6-3 double-play ball to get out of the inning and keep the score tied at 3-3.
CCU loaded the bases in the eighth on a hit-by-pitch, a UNCW error and a walk, yet couldn’t get a hit to plate the go-ahead run and left the bases loaded in the frame.
UNCW pulled back out in front in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single up the middle from Jones to put the home team on top 4-3 with one inning to play.
The Chants would get down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth when Zach Biermanndrew a four-pitch walk. After pinch runner Morgan Hyde immediately stole second, Rivers singled up the middle to score the fellow outfielder to tie the game up at 4-4 and keep the visiting team alive.
However, UNCW got a lead-off single from Noah Bridges to start the bottom of the ninth. After a fly out to left field, Bridges stole second and advanced to third as the errant throw rolled into center field.
Angeli then hit a ball off the end of the bat that found a hole through the right side of the drawn-in infield to trickle into the outfield and give the Seahawks the 5-4 walk-off win.
Coastal (18-6-1) and UNCW (15-10) will play the series rubber match tomorrow night, March 27, at 6 p.m. ET at Springs Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C.