CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina offense stayed hot on Thursday night, as the Chanticleers scored 10 runs on 11 base hits to defeat the Texas State Bobcats 10-5 in the series opener at Springs Brooks Stadium.
The 10-run game marks the second consecutive game that the Chanticleers have scored double-digit runs after posting 14 runs in the win over Wake Forest on Tuesday night.
Junior catcher BT Riopelle (3-for-5, HR, 2 2B, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) led the offensive attack with three extra-base hits, while sophomore infielders Eric Brown (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs, SB) and Cooper Weiss (2-for-4, 2B, RBI) had two hits apiece.
The Bobcats matched the Chants with 11 base hits but saw two CCU 4-6-3 double plays end two of their nine innings on the night.
Texas State was led at the plate by outfielder Jose Gonzalez (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) and infielder Jaxon Williams (2-for-3) with two hits each, while pinch hitter Ben McClain (1-for-1, HR, 3 RBIs, run) hit a three-run home run in the top of the ninth to drive in a team-high three RBIs.
Freshman pitcher Teddy Sharkey (4-1) picked up the win in relief, as he gave up just two hits and struck out two over 2.0-scoreless innings after taking the ball from starter Shaddon Peavyhouse who surrendered two runs on six hits, two walks, and three strikeouts over 4.0-complete innings.
The loss fell to Zachary Leigh (4-7), as the Bobcats’ starter was hit for four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits, four walks, and four strikeouts over 2.2 innings pitched.
After leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, CCU quickly got on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning on a lead-off solo home run from Brown over the 20-foot batter’s eye in straightaway center field to put the Chants on top 1-0 after two complete.
The home run was only the 13th long ball to clear the 20-foot batter’s eye in center field in the history of Vrooman Field at Springs Brooks Stadium (2015).
Following a two-run home run in the top of the third inning from Gonzalez to put the Bobcats in front for the first time at 2-1, Brown stayed hot with a two-out RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game up at 2-2.
The Chants continued the inning with a walk to Zack Beach and a two-out double past the third baseman and down the left-field line by Weiss to score Brown. On the play, the Texas State left-fielder miss played the ball along the wall which allowed Beach to score all the way from first and put Coastal on top by two at 4-2.
CCU added to its lead in the next inning with a little help from the Bobcats, as Parker Chavers drew a lead-off walk and then stole second base. On the steal, the Texas State catcher threw the ball down to second where no one was covering the bag and watched the throw go straight into center field to allow Chavers to move up to third on the play.
Alex Gattinelli made the Bobcats pay for the miscue, as he hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield to drive in Chavers for the RBI to push the Chants’ lead to three at 5-2 with five innings to play.
Following a second-straight scoreless inning from Sharkey in the top of the sixth, the men in pinstripes added to their lead in the bottom half of the frame with a Chavers’ lead-off double, a Gattinelli single, back-to-back wild pitches, and an RBI double down the right-field line from Riopelle to put the home team in front 7-2.
The inning continued with a sacrifice bunt by Dale Thomas followed by a sacrifice fly to center field off the bat of Nick Lucky to extend the Chants’ lead to six at 8-2 after six innings played.
Freshman hurler Matt Joyce (2.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 K) pitched a 1-2-3 seventh and got a 4-6-3 double-play to end the eighth inning to keep the Chants’ lead at 8-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, Riopelle provided two more insurance runs in a big way, as the junior catcher hit a two-run home run 430-feet toward the scoreboard in right-center field to put the score at 10-2.
The Bobcats would take advantage of a Coastal error and a single in the ninth, as McClain hit a three-run shot over the right-field wall to put the final score at 10-5.
Coastal (24-23, 7-12 Sun Belt) and Texas State (21-32, 9-13 Sun Belt) will turn around to play game two of the three-game series tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET.
Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics