BOONE, N.C. – The Coastal Carolina baseball team snapped a three-game losing skid in a big way on Thursday night, as the Chanticleers used a nine-run ninth inning in a 14-3 blowout win on the road at Appalachian State in game one of a three-game Sun Belt Conference series in Boone, N.C.
With the win, the Chants moved to 17-13-1 overall and 6-6-1 in league play, while the loss dropped the Mountaineers to 11-20 overall and 3-10 in the Sun Belt.
CCU’s offense was led by outfielder Graham Brown (2-for-4, HR, 2B, BB, SF, SAC, 3 RBIs, 4 runs) who scored a career-high four runs and had two great plays in right field, while fellow outfielder Austin White (3-for-4, 2B, 2 BB, 2 RBIs, run, SB) reached base five times in the win.
Also hot at the plate on Thursday night were Nick Lucky (2-for-5, 2 RBIs, run), Tyler Johnson (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs), and Matt McDermott (2-for-5, HR, RBI, 2 runs, SB) as the trio combined to drive in five RBIs on the night.
App State’s offense had eight base hits but was held to just three runs, all of which came in the fourth inning. Catcher Hayden Cross (1-for-4, 2B, RBI, run) and outfielder Hunter Bryson (1-for-2, 2B, BB, RBI, run) each had an RBI-double, while outfielder Andrew Greckel (2-for-4, RBI) also drove in a run in the loss.
On the mound, redshirt-senior Reid VanScoter (6-2) notched his sixth win and the fifth quality start of the season, as the lefty allowed just three runs on five hits, one walk, one hit batter, and three strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.
Out of the bullpen, the duo of Jacob Maton (2.0 IP, 2 hits, K) and Teddy Sharkey (1.0 IP, 1 hit, K) combined to pitch 3.0-scoreless innings over the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings in the victory.
The loss fell to the Mountaineers’ reliever Cameron Carter (1-3), as he took over in the sixth inning, allowing three runs on three hits and one hit batter in just 1.0 inning of work. Starter Tyler Tuthill did not factor in the decision despite throwing 5.0-complete innings, giving up two runs on four hits, two walks, and five strikeouts.
The Chanticleers threatened in each of the first three innings, putting the lead-off hitter in scoring position in all three frames, yet was only to push across one run in the top of the third on back-to-back doubles from Brown and White to take a 1-0 lead.
App State’s offense broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning, as a hit-by-pitch started the Mountaineers’ rally, as the home team ran off three-straight RBI-base hits with back-to-back doubles and a single to pull out in front by two at 3-1 heading into the fifth inning of play.
Coastal again put the lead-off runner on base in the top of the fifth, as Brown drew a lead-off walk. After a strikeout and fly-out, Brown moved up to second base on a wild pitch before Lucky lined a single to center field to drive in his teammate and cut the Mountaineers’ lead down to one at 3-2 midway through the contest.
Following a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the fifth, in which VanScoter struck out the side in the inning, the Chanticleers retook the lead with a three-run sixth inning, highlighted by a solo home run by McDermott, a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brown, and a two-out RBI-single from White to push the visitors in black back in front at 5-3.
CCU’s Maton pitched around a single in the seventh and a lead-off double in the eighth, in which a hustle play from Brown in right field and a great relay throw to third base from infielder Dale Thomas got the App State hitter trying to go to third base on the play to keep the Chants’ lead at 5-3 going into the ninth.
The Chants blew the game wide open in the top of the ninth, as the visitors took advantage of three App State errors and three infield singles, as Lucky and Thomas posted back-to-back bases-loaded infield hits to score two runs before Johnson went backside with a single through the left side of the infield to plate two more Chants and push the score to 9-3.
Three batters later, following a bloop-single and a fielder’s choice, Kameron Guangorena sent a ball back to the wall in left-center field which was dropped by the App State outfielder to allow all three runners to score and extend the Chants’ lead to 12-3.
On the very next pitch, Brown hit a ball off the top of the wall and out of the park in left-center field for a two-run shot, his third home run of the season, to push the lead out to double digits at 14-3.
The Chanticleers stranded six runners on base compared to the Mountaineers’ seven and put the lead-off hitter on base in six of the nine innings in the win.
The two teams will play game two of the three-game series tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET at Smith Stadium.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics