STATESBORO, Ga. – The Coastal Carolina baseball team used a complete game to defeat the No. 17/24 nationally-ranked Georgia Southern Eagles 5-4 on Friday night in the series opener at J.I. Clements Stadium in Statesboro, Ga.
Coastal moved to 24-14-1 overall and 12-6-1 in league play with the win, while the loss dropped Georgia Southern to 28-14 overall and 14-5 in the Sun Belt.
The win was also the seventh-straight for the Chanticleers in Sun Belt Conference play.
CCU starting pitcher Reid VanScoter (7-2) picked up his seventh win of the season and his seventh quality start of the year by holding the Eagles to just three runs, one of which was earned, on six hits, no walks, and five strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.
VanScoter handed the ball over to fellow veteran hurler Reece Maniscalco (1) in the seventh inning, as he earned his first save of the year by allowing one run on two hits, one walk, and a season-high seven strikeouts over the final three innings in the win.
GS starter Ty Fisher (2-2) suffered the loss, as the lefty gave up five runs, four of which were earned, on eight hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over 7.0-complete innings.
The Chants’ offense outhit the Eagles 9-8 and was led by Nick Lucky (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs) with a two-run double and one RBI each from Eric Brown (1-for-4, 2B, SF, RBI, run) and Christopher Rowan, Jr. (1-for-4, RBI), while both Tyler Johnson (2-for-4) and Matt McDermott (2-for-4, 2B, 2 runs) each had two base hits on the night.
For the Eagles at the plate, Noah Ledford (3-for-4, 2B, run) had a game-high three base hits, while both Jesse Sherrill (2-for-5, RBI, run) and Jason Swan (1-for-4, SF, RBI) each had an RBI at the top of the lineup.
The Eagles took advantage of Coastal miscues in the field early in the contest to take an early lead, as a CCU fielding error on the infield allowed the first Eagle run to score in the bottom of the first, while two passed balls in the second inning led to a sacrifice fly and another score by the home team to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead after the first two innings played.
Coastal got one run back in the top of the third on a lead-off double by Eric Brown just in front of the 390-foot sign in straightaway center field followed by back-to-back ground outs with the second one scoring Brown from third to cut the Georgia Southern lead in half at 2-1 midway through the third inning.
After an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the fourth, the Chants second of the game, the visitors in gray got the bats going in the top of the fifth on back-to-back one-out singles from Graham Brown and McDermott.
Following a walk to load the bases and a strikeout, Lucky ripped a 3-1 pitch to left-center field which was misplayed by the Eagles’ center fielder to allow all three runners to score on the double and fielding error to push the visitors on top for the first time of the game at 4-2.
Behind for the first time in the contest, the home-standing Eagles picked up a two-out RBI-single from Sherrill in the bottom half of the fifth inning to trim the Chants’ lead to one at 4-3 with four innings to play.
Coastal added a run in the top of the seventh on a lead-off hustle double by McDermott followed by a sacrifice bunt from Austin White and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Eric Brown to extend the lead to two at 5-3 heading into the seventh-inning stretch.
The Chanticleers went to the bullpen in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Maniscalco struck out not one, not two, not three, but four hitters in the bottom half of the inning, as the third Eagle struck out but reached base safely on a wild pitch.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Georgia Southern cut the Coastal lead to one with back-to-back singles and a fielder’s choice to send the game into the final inning with the Chants on top 5-4.
With a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Maniscalco was able to pitch around a lead-off walk and leave the tying run 90-feet away on third base with a big strikeout to end the game with the Chants in front 5-4.
The Chants left six runners on base compared to the Eagles’ seven, while CCU took advantage of two inning-ending double plays in the win.
Coastal and Georgia Southern will meet again for game two of the three-game series tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET in Statesboro, Ga.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics