CCU baseball improves to 3-2 with a 8-1 win over Bryant

Sports

CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina got 6.0-shutout innings from starting pitcher Jacob Maton and a grand slam off the bat of outfielder Nick Lucky to cruise to an 8-1 win over the Bryant Bulldogs on day one of the CCU Baseball Tournament Friday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.

With the win, Coastal improves to 3-2 on the season while the loss drops Bryant to 2-2 on the year.

Both teams had 12 base hits. However, Coastal took advantage of three walks and three Bryant errors in the win.

In just his second career start, Maton (1-1) recorded his first career win, throwing 6.0-shutout innings, scattering seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts in the quality start.

A trio of Chants had two hits apiece in Lucky (2-for-4, GS, 4 RBIs), Alex Gattinelli (2-for-5, RBI, run, SB), and BT Riopelle (2-for-3, BB, run, SB), while shortstop Eric Brown (1-for-5, RBI) and freshman Billy Underwood (1-for-1, 2B, RBI) each added an RBI in the win.

The loss fell to Bryant’s ace Tyler Mattison (1-1), as the righty was roughed up for six runs on six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts over 4.0 innings pitched.

The Bulldogs pounded out 12 base hits, yet stranded 10 runners on base in the loss. Liam McGill was 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while both Derek Smith (2-for-4, 2B) and Jake Gustin (2-for-4) had two hits apiece. James Ciliento (1-for-4) had the lone RBI for the Bulldogs in the loss.

Bryant looked to get the scoring started early in the top of the first, opening up the game with back-to-back singles. However, Maton helped his cause by throwing out Smith at third as he tried to steal for out number one in the inning.

The play proved to be huge as the third batter in the lineup singled through the left side to put runners on first and third with one out. Maton got the second out by fielding his position, getting off the mound in a hurry to field the ball on a bunt squeeze play to get the lead runner out at home, before forcing a fly out for the third out of the inning.

Maton pitched around a single in the second and two hits in the third to keep the game tied at 0-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning.

That’s where the Chants took a 1-0 lead, as right fielder Makenzie Pate got a one-out single to right-center field and then quickly moved up to second on a throwing error by the Bryant pitcher on a pickoff attempt.

After a Lucky ground ball to the right side moved Pate up to third, the sophomore was able to score on an infield single deep in the hole at shortstop on a ball hit off the bat by Eric Brown to put the home team on top 1-0 through three innings of play.

Following a 1-2-3 inning for the Bulldogs in the top of the fourth, the Chants blew the game with five runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Gattinelli led off the inning with a single up the middle and then abruptly stole second. Following a walk to Riopelle, Cooper Weiss laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line and reached base safely on a great effort by the Bryant pitcher on the play.

Bryant’s Mattison got Tyler Johnson to strike out for out number one in the inning but then spiked a pitch in the dirt to the next CCU batter to allow Gattinelli to score from third on the wild pitch to put the home team up 2-0.

Two batters later, after a Dale Thomas fly out to right field, Pate was awarded first base on a catcher’s interference to load the bases for the Chants once again in the inning.

Coastal, who left the bases loaded three times on Tuesday at No. 16 Wake Forest, brought everyone home this time, as Lucky hit a line drive that flew over the right-field wall for a grand slam, the first of his career, to put CCU up big at 6-0.

The Bulldogs stranded three runners over the sixth and seventh innings before Coastal added another insurance run in the bottom of the seventh on a Parker Chavers double followed by a Gattinelli RBI single to extend the home team’s lead to 7-0 with two innings to play.

In the top of the eighth inning, Bryant spoiled the Coastal shutout attempt on a McGill double and a Ciliento RBI single to put the score at 7-1 heading into the bottom half of the inning.

A pair of newcomers added to the lead for the Chanticleers in the bottom of the eighth, as Underwood recorded his first career hit and RBI with an RBI-double to plate pinch hitter Lorenzo Morello from second who got into scoring position on a one-out single and a stolen base.

Right-handed freshman pitcher Matt Joyce (2.0 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 K), who entered the game in the seventh, handed the ball over to fellow righty Noah Eaker who would strand two Bulldogs’ runners in the ninth to seal the 8-1 win.

The Chants (3-2) will play the No. 23/27 West Virginia Mountaineers (3-2) tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET on day two of the CCU Baseball Tournament.

Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics

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